South African Team Profiles

Philip CramerContributor IIJune 10, 2010

SANDTON, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 09:  The South Africa team parade through the district of Sandton as thousands of local supporters cheer on June 9, 2010 in Sandton, South Africa.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Michael Steele/Getty Images

Bafana Bafana player profiles.


Itumeleng Khune (Goalkeeper) 

Acrobatic goalie and established No. One. 

Brilliant save of David Villa penalty in Confederations Cup established his pedigree.  Excellent distributor of the ball and always finds the open man.


Siboniso Gaxa (Defense)

Solid right back with the ability to attack down the wing.  Locally based but is on the radar for several Premier League teams.


Aaron Mokoena (Defense)  

Captain will be playing is 102nd game against Mexico. 

Tough defender who is prone to giving away free kicks in vulnerable positions.  Inspirational leader whose nickname "Mbazo" means "The Axe". In his early days his nickname was 'Naughty' which says something about his play. 

Plays for Portsmouth. 


Lucas Thwala (Defense)

Hard tackling left back who excelled in warm ups getting him the start over Tsepo Masilela. 

Good on attack as well who makes and scores goals.


Bongani Khumalo (Defense)

Young up and coming central defender forced his way into the starting line up with impressive performances in training camp.


Tsepo Masilela (Defense)  

Was the starting left back. 

Played in the Champions League for Maccabi Haifa last year.  Solid in defense and can attack down the wing as well.


Matthew Booth (Defense)  

The only white player on the squad. 

Tall and bald, evoking Peter Garrett the former lead singer for Midnight Oil. Good in the air. 

Fan favorite who elicits what sounds like booing every time he touches the ball. It's the fans going "Boooooooth"


Steven Pienaar (Midfield)

The heart and soul of the team.

Everton Player of the Year who reads the game brilliantly. 

Bayern Munich and other top teams are interested in him. 

Doesn't score often but can shred a defense with pinpoint passing.


Siphiwe Tsabalala (Midfield)

Pienaar's partner going forward. 

Speedy dynamo with the ability to beat defenders. Takes most of the corners and free kicks. Isn't afraid to shoot. 

I predict he will be one of the break out stars of the cup and will no doubt be playing in Europe next season. 

Only 26 with 48 caps and five goals for Bafana


Kagisho Dikgacoi (Midfield)

Tough defender who played for Fulham this past season but nagging injuries kept him on the bench much of the time. 

Full fit and will start against Mexico.


Reneilwe Letsholonyane (Midfield)

Nicknamed 'Yeye' played his way into the starting lineup with impressive performances in warm up games. 

He created Bafana's goal against Denmark last week with a brilliant through ball.


Teko Modise (Midfield)

Footballer of the year in South Africa in 2008 and 2009. 

Had a disappointing Confederations Cup as well as in the domestic league this past season but has renewed his confidence in training camp. 

Creative player with great ball control and dribbling skills with 52 caps and 10 goals.  Hopefully will rise to the occasion.


Macbeth Sibaya (Midfield)

Steady veteran who plays for Ruben Kazan, Russian league winners the past two seasons. 

Will see most of his action off the bench. 

58 caps.


Surprise Moriri (Midfield)

Another veteran who has not always been consistent at the international level. 

Injured much of last season but played himself into the squad with impressive recent performances. 

Has a knack for scoring vital goals for Bafana.

Will start on the bench.


Katlego Mphela (Forward)

Has a nose for goal. Bafana will need him in an attack that has problems scoring goals.  Has been on a tear lately and has 13 goals for Bafana. 

Came to prominence against Spain in the Confederations Cup with two goals including a dazzling free kick from 35 yards in the last minute to tie the game. 


Bernard Parker (Forward)

Came to the fore in the Confederations Cup. 

Plays for FC Twente, Dutch champions but sat on the bench most of the season. 

Will be on the bench in Parreira's 4-5-1 system but will definitely see action in the finals.


Siyabonge Nomvethe (Forward)

Veteran who has had an up and down career which was revitalized in warm up games. 

Withe exclusion of Benni McCarthy, Bafana's all time leading scorer, Parker and Nomvethe will have important roles to play.





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