root for your Bafana!

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

Frank Rijkaard, one of the world's greatest players of his era, has joined the chorus of personalities urging South Africans to rally behind Bafana Bafana.

Rijkaard said it was important for the whole nation to embrace the team during the Confederations Cup and 2010 World Cup.

"We all know that everybody across the globe has been focusing on South Africa because your country is hosting the next World Cup," he told Sowetan.

"The South African team will be playing at home and it will be dangerous to write them off. They have to go all the way and show they are ready for the 2010 World Cup.

"I cannot say much about the other participating countries because they still have to announce their final teams, but it will be a great tournament.

"Normally, at competitions like this one you have the favourites doing well. So we expect Brazil to start as favourites.

"They are a great team with some excellent players such as Kaka, who are under pressure from people in Brazil who are used to winning.

"With European champions Spain also competing, you cannot write them off because they have good players.

"You still have Italy and Egypt who are also strong teams. There is no doubt that the Confederations Cup, just like the 2010 World Cup, will be great.

"The atmosphere has been fantastic, you can see that the country is putting a lot of effort into the preparations for the tournament."

Rijkaard, who is also linked to the coaching job at Chelsea because compatriot, Guus Hiddink, is leaving at the end of the month, has been to South Africa twice.

He came here two years ago as coach of Barcelona when they played against Mamelodi Sundowns.