Nunes is raring to go

2012-10-13 19:56

First mission is the national anthem

If Ricardo Nunes – who made his Bafana Bafana debut against Poland on Friday – were to sing South Africa’s national anthem, he would butcher it more than a certain Ras Dumisani.

The 26-year-old new Bafana left-back admitted he didn’t know the national anthem, but said he will make it his first mission to learn the words so that he can join in the singing in the future.

“Only the last part is English. It sounds good, but I don’t understand. But I like the Bafana strip. It looks good on me,” he chuckled.

“I am still learning to know all the names of the players. Before I came here, I knew (Siphiwe) Tshabalala, Dino (Ndlovu), (Moeneeb) Josephs and Dean Furman.”

Born in Johannesburg in 1986, Nunes left for Portugal when he was eight years old and hasn’t set foot in South Africa since.

He has represented Portugal at youth level, but is eligible to play for Bafana.

The Slovakia-based defender is the latest recruit after Furman – midfielder for English League One club Oldham Athletic – who made his debut against Brazil last month.

Nunes said he was happy with the Bafana set-up and the resounding welcome he received from the players.

“It was unbelievable,” he gushed. “Everybody wanted to know a bit about my history and my club. It was good to finally meet the players.”

He joined his team-mates on Tuesday and immediately got down to business and left a lasting impression on the Bafana technical team.

Coach Gordon Igesund could not stop singing his praises as his accurate free kicks caused all sorts of problems. This showed on Friday when one of his well-swept-in free kicks was just headed wide by midfielder Kagiso Dikgacoi.

“I just hope he produces the same performances I have seen on videos,” said Igesund about Nunes. “He will give the team more options when attacking, but the challenge is to win set pieces so he can whip them in.”

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