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TEKO "the General" Modise is among the most recognisable South African football players around today and is a sure bet to be in the final Bafana Bafana 2010 World Cup squad.
He remains key to the country's hopes in the World Cup despite a recent slump in form that had his critics and cynics writing him off for the biggest football show on earth.
But while it is almost certain that Aaron "Mbazo" Mokoena will lead Bafana out for their opening World Cup match against Mexico on June 11 at Soccer City, coach Carlos Alberto Parreira has shown his faith in the dependable Orlando Pirates midfielder by making him interim captain in Mokoena's absence. Modise has not disappointed.
The General has shown maturity and has lost none of his determination and composure, which can only be good news for the team and the country at large ahead of the tournament.
His rise to fame was not all plain sailing since he spent most of his playing career in Limpopo playing for the now defunct Ria Stars and City Pillars.
Former Bafana midfielder Doctor Khumalo has revealed that Bucs boss Irvin Khoza once told him ahead of an important match against Congo how the country relied on Khumalo for a result, and the Bucs supremo last week revealed at the club's awards just how important Modise's role will be during the soccer extravaganza.
Just like Khumalo, Modise will be looked at for inspiration when the tournament kicks off.
This will be his chance to shine on the biggest stage in world football and erase the memories of last year's Confederations Cup, where his performance was well below par.
He seemed intimidated by the world superstars in the tournament.
Many things have been said about his form, but the affable Modise remains Bafana's trump card and there have been marked signs of a recovery in recent matches.