Former president Jacob Zuma with then Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira and his players. Picture: AP
Former president Jacob Zuma with then Bafana Bafana coach Carlos Alberto Parreira and his players. Picture: AP

MacBeth Sibaya: What you get with Bafana is what you get in the PSL

By Mihlali Baleka Time of article published Jul 2, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - Former Bafana Bafana midfielder MacBeth Sibaya believes Carlos Alberto Parreira was the right man to guide the national team during the 2010 World Cup.

Having inspired Brazil to the 1994 World Cup crown, Parreira came here with a lofty billing when taking over the reins from countryman Joel Santana.

However, Bafana had an underwhelming home tournament a decade ago as they crashed out of the group stage after finishing third on Group A following a draw with Mexico, loss to Uruguay and win over France.

That record raised questions as to whether Parreira was the right man to coach South Africa, considering he was making a return during the global showpiece having left two years earlier to be with his ill wife back home.

Sibaya, one of seven players in the Bafana squad who were based in Europe at that time, feels that the now 77-year-old coach understood SA football and did the best he could to help the team progress.

“I think he did his best with his technical team, which also had Pitso Mosimane. I think he was very good when we look at the performance that we gave. In his method of training there was no overload of information,” Sibaya explained.

“It was just that people had expectations. He coached everyone according to his strengths and weaknesses. He knew exactly where we stood as a nation. He knew he wasn’t coaching Brazil or France.”

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After Parreira’s exit in 2010, SA-born Mosimane was brought in, but he was fired in his second season after failing to qualify for the 2011 Africa Cup of Nations and having drawn with Ethiopia in their first qualifying match for the 2014 World Cup.

Since then there’s been a lot of local-based coaches at the helm of Bafana, while Englishman Stuart Baxter took the team to the Afcon quarter-finals last year in Egypt.

With Molefi Ntseki currently in charge, it remains to be seen whether Bafana will qualify for their first World Cup since 2002, having made the 2010 edition as hosts.

Sibaya, though, feels that it was going to be difficult for anyone to coach Bafana after hosting the 2010 World Cup.

“After 2010 it was always going to be a challenge, whether you are a local or foreign coach. What you get at Bafana is what you get in the PSL (Premier Soccer League); you shouldn’t expect more than that,” he said.

“So we should be honest enough and not look at someone who was responsible at the time but ourselves as a nation.”

@Mihalibaleka

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