Motsepe has last laugh

FOR Mamelodi Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe it must be extremely gratifying to see the realisation of at least one of the lofty dreams he has long nurtured for his team since he acquired it a few years ago.

FOR Mamelodi Sundowns owner Patrice Motsepe it must be extremely gratifying to see the realisation of at least one of the lofty dreams he has long nurtured for his team since he acquired it a few years ago.

Their dominance of the most recently assembled Bafana Bafana squad certainly warmed Motsepe enough to bring him straight to Chloorkop hours after landing in South Africa from the G8 Economic Summit in icy Davos, Switzerland.

The players had just wrapped up training, mindful of how imperative an emphatic win against Bloemfontein Celtic at Super Stadium tomorrow night is in setting the tone for the rest of the championship race.

A while back, in the face of rampant scorn, Motsepe announced his plans to get some of the country's players warming European benches back here to improve South Africa's World Cup chances.

Five months before the tournament kicks off, it would seem Motsepe might just have the last laugh, as striker Katlego Mphela, defender Matthew Booth and midfielder Matthew Patterson - all of whom he enticed back to the country - look to be in coach Carlos Alberto Parreira's plans.

Mphela, who has overtaken Benni McCarthy as Bafana's premier striker, had this to say about the Bafana camp in Durban: "I would say the difference between when I first got called up in the days of Stuart Baxter and my call-ups now is that now I feel like I am an important member of the team and can actually help the team. In those days, no one was quite sure what to make of this 'French' guy."

Said teammate Siyanda Xulu, who has had a fairytale run in professional football: "What stood out for me was how passionate coach Parreira is about South African players."

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