Teko turns 50

2010-05-25 08:33

Bafana Bafana midfield star Teko Modise reached another milestone

in South African soccer history when he earned his 50th cap when he captained

his country to a gutsy 1-1 draw against Bulgaria in a friendly international at

the Orlando Stadium last night.

He has now captained his country 10 times.

Modise (27) celebrated his 50th cap with one of his best

performances in his career. He shone and dazzled the physically stronger

Bulgarian defenders.

After a bad slump in form for both his club Orlando Pirates and

Bafana, he has shown he was willing to work hard to get his form back under head

coach Carlos Alberto Parreira.

Said Modise: “It is a great honour earning 50 caps for one’s

country and when I made my debut against Malawi in May 2007, the 50 mark was

furthest from my mind.”

Modise who has bounced back to form at the right time with just

over two weeks before Bafana play Mexico in the opening World Cup Group A match

at the new Soccer City Stadium on June 11, said he had regained his confidence

thanks to Bafana’s Brazilian coach.

“The three camps in Durban, Brazil and Germany were a big help in

getting me 100 percent fit and mentally stronger. I enjoy my game now and that

is because my confidence is back.”

Other milestones to be reached soon are Bafana skipper Aaron

Mokoena, who will become the first South African player to reach 100 caps. The

Portsmouth defender is set to take over the captain’s armband from Modise when

Bafana host Colombia in a friendly at Soccer City on Thursday night, earned his

98th cap when he came on at half-time against Bulgaria.

The other is flying winger Siphiwe Tshabalala, who earned his 46th

cap against Bulgaria and will join Modise on 50 during the finals.

Said Parreira: “It is no fluke earning 50 caps for your country.

You work had for that honour and Modise has done just that.

“He and Tshabalala are classy playmakers. They play like Brazilians

by taking on players and doing tricks on the ball. They add the creative blend

to the team.

“No team can operate without these inventive players. Both Modise

and Tshabalala have that quality and will serve Bafana well during the World

Cup.”


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