- Title: VARIOUS: FOOTBALL/SOCCER - South Africa team World Cup preview
- Date: 17th May 2010
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (English) PARREIRA, SPEAKING AT NEWS CONFERENCE: "We showed it in the Confederations Cup that with the team together, with the country behind us, this team can grow. They prove it and we want to repeat it, that's what football is all about." WIDE OF TEAM POSING FOR PHOTOGRAPHERS
- Embargoed: 1st June 2010 13:00
- Topics: Sports
- Reuters ID: LVABTNWPU2QWK07LA7UZOF2AWAT0
- Story Text: The hosts South Africa are coming into the World Cup with raised hopes after a disappointing run of form. After failing to qualify for the Africa Cup of Nations in Togo earlier this year, but they are unbeaten in five friendly matches this year, including draws against World Cup finalists Paraguay and North Korea.
Brazilian Carlos Alberto Parreira, in his second spell as the national coach, will be looking to Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar for attacking ideas. He was ranked among the best players in the English Premier League this season but has yet to reproduce his club form for the national team.
Alongside him in midfield, Teko Modise has scored nine goals in 40 appearances, but South Africa may struggle elsewhere for goals. Top scorer Benni McCarthy has had a poor season for English Premier League side West Ham where injury restricted has restricted his to just five appearances this year with no goals.
"I think if there is one thing that we are lacking right now it is scoring goals. There's nothing else, scoring goals will bring us confidence, more confidence than we need, that's the only thing that we are lacking right now," said Modise.
Factbox: Colours: Yellow shirts and socks, green shorts Nickname: Bafana Bafana (the young lads) Previous World Cup appearances: 2: 1998, 2002 Best World Cup performance: Failed to get past the first round in previous appearances Coach: Carlos Alberto Parreira Most capped player: Aaron Mokoena 97 Top goalscorer: Benni McCarthy 31 Coach: Carlos Alberto Parreira Parreira, who won the World Cup as coach of his native Brazil in 1994. He has been brought back for a second spell after October's sacking of Joel Santana. Parreira had originally been appointed to guide the hosts' fortunes for the 2010 tournament but quit after his wife fell ill in April 2008. He has also coached at World Cups with Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Key players: Steven Pienaar (Everton) Position: Midfield. Born 17.3.1982.
The diminutive Johannesburg-born midfielder has had a career beset with a troublesome ankle but is the one of few South Africans regularly playing in a major European league. He was a squad member at the 2002 World Cup finals but did not play. He has since become his country's most valuable player.
MacBeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan) Age: 32. Position: Midfield. Born 25.11.1977.
Hard-tackling defensive midfielder who is the anchor of the team. Has won successive Russian league tiles with Rubin Kazan and been almost ever present for South Africa's national team over the last two years.
Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa) Age: 25. Position: Fullback. Born 5.5.1985.
A flying left back who is the only player chosen to play for South Africa in a competitive international while still on the books of a second division club. Since moved to Israel, where he won the league championship last season and a UEFA Champions League group berth place this season.
Squad: Goalkeepers: Rowen Fernandez (Arminia Bielefeld), Moeneeb Josephs (Orlando Pirates), Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Shu-Aib Walters (Maritzburg United) Defenders: Matthew Booth, Siboniso Gaxa (both Mamelodi Sundowns), Bongani Khumalo (SuperSport United), Tsepo Masilela (Maccabi Haifa), Innocent Mdledle (Orlando Pirates), Aaron Mokoena (Portsmouth), Bryce Moon (PAOK Salonika), Anele Ngcongca (Racing Genk), Siyabonga Sangweni (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Lucas Thwala (Orlando Pirates) Midfielders: Franklin Cale (Mamelodi Sundowns), Lance Davids (Ajax Cape Town), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Fulham), Andile Jali (Orlando Pirates), Thanduyise Khuboni (Lamontville Golden Arrows), Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Kaizer Chiefs), Teko Modise (Orlando Pirates), Surprise Moriri (Mamelodi Sundowns), Steven Pienaar (Everton), MacBeth Sibaya (Rubin Kazan), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs) Forwards: Benni McCarthy (West Ham United), Katlego Mphela (Mamelodi Sundowns), Siyabonga Nomvete (Moroka Swallows), Bernard Parker (Twente Enschede).
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