Mexico hot on Bafana heels

2010-04-24 07:30

Mexico, Bafana Bafana’s first opponents in the 2010 Fifa World Cup,

are following in the footsteps of the South Africans currently on camp in

Herzogenaurach, Germany.

The Mexicans are rumoured to have been closely monitoring Bafana

during their Brazilian camp last month and have now shifted the focus to

Herzogenaurach where 25 South African internationals are holding a three-week

training camp until 29 April.

It has been uncovered that Mexico have moved their training camp to

Herzogenaurach, Germany, and will use the same facilities that Bafana are using

at the Adi Dassler Sport Centre.

They will also use the same five-star Ramada hotel the South

Africans sleep at.

Initially Mexico were reported to be considering Spain for their

camp. This is a clear indication that the Mexicans are digging deep about their

first World Cup opponents at Soccer City on June 11.

With this in mind, it does not come as a shock when Bafana head

coach Carlos Alberto Parreira reminded South Africans that their group opponents

Mexico, France and Uruguay have been in this World Cup business for 80 years and

they needed to tread carefully.

Parreira said: “Some 80 years ago, during the first World Cup in

Uruguay, by then, there were no qualifiers and teams were randomly invited.

France, Mexico and Uruguay were invited.

“These are teams in our ground (Group A). People tend to forget

quickly. I did my homework, and I’m happy the players have done their best too

as well as Safa. The plan in Brazil worked well and the German leg is positive


Parreira’s analysis about Bafana’s dilemma of a poor run of late,

resulting in them lagging behind in Fifa world standings where they are lowly

placed 88th is because of lack of quality friendlies before he took over in


“European teams refuse to travel to South Africa because it takes

them 12 hours in a flight. They cannot afford to lose days on Fifa weekends,

which could be four travelling to and from SA.

“But I turned things around and I am sure everything will be

possible for us. The ball is round. And the meaning of that is: nobody in the

world can say what will happen during a game. People should talk after the game

and not before. My players will make the country proud. The message has gone to

the players and they are willing to deliver.

“Everybody in the South African streets and shopping malls touch me

and say that ‘coach make us proud’. They have kept the faith. The country waits

and we have to deliver,” Parreira said.

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