Hero’s welcome for Bafana Bafana

2010-04-13 11:41

BAFANA Bafana received a hero’s welcome yesterday at the Adidas Centre in Herzogenaurach, Germany, after an 11-hour flight.

The 25-man Bafana squad, which is on a three-week training camp in Germany, was met with hordes of German cameramen and sports journalists who wanted a glimpse of Carlos Alberto Parreira’s men.


The team travelled from Joburg to the cold and drizzling Frankfurt, where they proceeded to Nuremberg on a 30-minute flight before being driven on a state-of-the-art Adidas bus to Herzogenaurach. Here they will play three training matches against Bundesliga teams, including Nurnberg on April 22 and an international friendly against China on April 28.


The most common question from German reporters, whose country hosted a successful World Cup in 2006, was: “Would South Africa make it to the next round of the 2010 World Cup, Mr. Parreira?” The response from the 1994 World Cup-winning coach was: “Of course.”
 

Parreira guaranteed yesterday that 15 of the 22 players to be selected for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa from June 11 to July 11 would come from the squad he travelled with to Brazil and Germany. This means the remaining seven players will be South African players based abroad.


Parreira told the curious reporters: “The South African League is full of coaches from outside of the country and I am sure these players are well drilled. I am just trying to find the right combination going forward.”


Parreira added that his wish was to see the German temperature remain at its lowest, with its highest being 6°C, so that the players could get used to the cold weather conditions as June falls in winter in Mzansi.


He believes everything is going according to his initial plan after taking over from axed Joel Santana.

“The boys are more motivated and confident than when we went to Brazil last month. I am sure this will be the attitude they adopt leading to the World Cup month,” he said.


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