Lucas Radebe backs Bafana to do well in Egypt

Lucas Radebe told he has not served in any Safa structure.
Lucas Radebe told he has not served in any Safa structure.
Image: Sydney Seshibedi/ Gallo Images

Former Bafana Bafana captain Lucas Radebe will be watching the national team with keen interest during the Africa Cup of Nations tournament in June and they have his backing.

While SA might be sceptical of Bafana's progress beyond the group stage, "Rhoo" firmly believes they are capable of reaching the quarterfinals.

Bafana are in Group D alongside Ivory Coast, Morocco and Namibia. All their group matches will be played at Al Salam Stadium in Cairo, with Bafana's opener against Ivory Coast on June 24.

Despite this tough first assignment, Radebe has backed Bafana to come good.

"I think it was a rollercoaster ride to the finals. We had some bad results in the qualifiers, but the one thing that was interesting was the consistency in terms of the players - the coach [Stuart Baxter] knew his squad," he noted.

"Now we enter the big stage where we have to deliver with expectations [from the country] and it's going to be tough.

"But with the belief and [good] preparations, I think we are capable of going further to the quarterfinals," he said.

Bafana have good records against their group opponents; Ivory Coast (two wins, four draws), Morocco (two wins, one defeat, three draws) and Namibia (five wins, two draws , two defeats) since SA's re-admission to international football in 1992.

Radebe, however, cautioned Bafana not to dwell on the past and rather go to Egypt and give their all for the nation.

"I remember playing Ivory Coast in Burkina Faso [during the 1998 Afcon] . we had some great results there [reaching the final and losing to Egypt]. But it's a different generation and teams have really improved a lot.

"Morocco and Ivory Coast, we know what we are facing - that's quality.

"So for us it's to go there and believe in ourselves. We know we are capable of making it further.

"So it's to beat those two big giants and then we are through," he said.

X