IN-FORM Everton dribbling wizard Steven "Schillo" Pienaar is adamant Bafana Bafana will silence their detractors during the 2010 World Cup.
The successful but down-to-earth Pienaar has warned those writing Bafana Bafana off that they do so at their peril.
Bafana Bafana are in Group A with Mexico, Uruguay and France. Uruguay won the inaugural event in 1930 and France won the 1998 edition of the World Cup.
Pienaar said Bafana Bafana's first target was to reach the knockout stages of this quadrennial soccer spectacle for the first time.
In the two World Cup finals appearances in France 1998 and Korea-Japan in 2002 the South African team were bundled out in the group stages.
"It's a known fact that a lot of people are not giving Bafana Bafana a chance for the World Cup. They argue that we do not have a strong team," Pienaar said.
"We are the first African country to host the World Cup in its history and cannot afford to disappoint. Our target now is to first get out of the World Cup group stages.
"I strongly believe we have a pretty good team to go all the way.
"As players we have to work hard to make all South Africans proud. The trend in the World Cup has been a favourable one for the host nations. In 1998 France were struggling in the build-up to the World Cup.
"Subsequent to that South Korea also had problems ahead of the 2002 World Cup but they surprised all and sundry by reaching the semifinals. The same thing happened to Germany during the 2006 World Cup. They ended up winning a bronze medal. We are also encouraged by the successes of the previous host nations."
Pienaar said the training camps organised by the technical staff will help Bafana Bafana to be a formidable side again.
"We want to appeal to South Africans to rally around Bafana Bafana. The success of every host nation depends on the support of its citizens."