Benatia reflects on Morocco’s successful campaign – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Austin Ditlhobolo

Sunday Nov 19, 2017. 09:00

Moroccan international Mehdi Benatia says that leading his nation to the 2018 FIFA World Cup is ‘the most beautiful moment’ of his career.

Nicknamed the Atlas Lions, Morocco qualifed for the World Cup for the first time since 1998 after winning their qualifying group last weekend.

Benatia, who has won league titles German giants Bayern Munich and Italian side Juventus, reflected on the Atlas Lions’ qualification.

“It was the most beautiful moment of my career. I told the players that I’d been lucky enough to win titles with Bayern and Juve and this is what we play football for,” Benatia told Sky Italia.

The Juventus defender, who is one of the best African defenders, captained Morocco’s successful qualifying campaign.

“But after so many years of doing this for our country, this qualification for the World Cup means so much. As captain, I feel it even more, and it was a wonderful moment.

“Every morning I get up and think about it and I’m happy because we didn’t really get to celebrate but in six months there will be an incredible party in Morocco because it’s a country that lives for football.

“Unfortunately we’ve had to watch the World Cup on TV for 20 years but now we’re going and it really is something to be proud of,” the 30-year-old concluded.

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Baxter reflects on SA’s disappointing qualifying campaign – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers

Scent ition

Thursday Nov 16, 2017. 15:00

South Africa head coach Stuart Baxter has reflected on Bafana Bafana’s disappointing FIFA 2018 World Cup campaign which ended with a 2-1 away defeat to Senegal on Tuesday night.

The British tactician admitted the World Cup qualifiers was a difficult campaign adding it is not easy to come in and impose your philosophy there and then and put across your ideas. This is something which is a process and takes time when speaking to the SAFA website.

“The replay against Senegal, a match South Africa had won, didn’t help for the mental part of the game. However, looking back, I think our biggest shortcoming, which has been the country’s perennial problem, has been scoring goals,” he said.

“We need to understand what win games; it is something I have been trying to put across to the players as part of my philosophy.

The trainer however said in trying to inculcate the winning mentality, it was important not to compromise the South African tradition of doing things.

“We need to maintain our philosophy and that is flamboyance and attacking football,” he continued.

The former Kaizer Chiefs coach said while results at most times were disappointing,Bafana showed if the team gets the balance right between efficiency and flamboyance, they can mix with the best there is.

“But we are not consistent enough; we need to produce that type of football on regular basis to stay on top,” he stressed.

The experienced tactician said most of that was caused by lack of scoring prowess but was something he would work on although results cannot be achieved overnight.

“We need to challenge for top slots. We have shown it against top opposition; we have dominated them for long periods with some good football but failed to finish them off. What we need is to be more professional and continue to develop our own type of football that reflects the culture of South Africa,” he explained.

The former SuperSport United coach added that he would like to thank South African supporters whose love for the national team was unquestionable.

“They (fans) play an important role in the development of the game and we hope they continue to be part of this process. They are the most important stakeholder of the game,” Baxter concluded.

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South African striking legend reflects on his all-time record of 120 goals – ABSA Premiership 2017/18 – AmaZulu

Phumzile Ngcatshe

Tuesday Oct 24, 2017. 15:30

After scoring for AmaZulu in their 2-1 win over Mamelodi Sundowns on Saturday night in the South African Premier League, experienced striker Siyabonga Nomvethe says he never expected to reach this stage in his career.

‘Bhele’ will be turning 40 on December 2 and has taken his tally to 120 goals, becoming the South African Premier Soccer League’s all-time leading goal scorer.

Having also represented sides such as Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs and Moroka Swallows as well as having stints in Europe, Nomvethe has hailed his healthy lifestyle.

On the other hand, his teammate Mabhudi Khenyeza, who scored the winner for Usuthu, also increased his goal tally to 107.

Khenyeza is behind the Brazilians’ former striker, Daniel Mudau, who retired after registering 108 goals in the all-time list of goal scorers in the PSL.

“It all comes down to dedication. I also spend a lot of time with my family and I work very hard at training so that I am always fit,” said Nomvethe after the game on Saturday.

“I don’t know when I will stop playing because my legs can still carry me.

“I never expected to reach this age while still playing professionally. Age is just a number, I am just making sure that I make use of the opportunity that I have to inspire others.

“There are youngsters that I have seen who can play for Bafana Bafana, for the junior national teams or even go to Europe, but they waste their talent because of doing things that are not right.”

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Sumaila reflects on failed move to Rangers FC – African Football

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Jul 24, 2017. 14:00

Ghana international Rashid Sumaila says he will give his all to play in Britain because anything is possible in football.

The 24-year-old defender was recently on the radar of Scottish giants Rangers FC during the current Transfer Window.

However, issues of transfer and player activation meant it was always going to be complicated for him to move to the club.

Sumaila, who is currently on the books of Kuwaiti Premier League outfit Al Qadsia, remains hopeful of playing in Britain.

“In football you can never say never,” Sumaila told Ghana Soccer Net.

“I am a man of strong character because I have been through a lot yet still i am on it.

“I am working hard and knowing very well that one day the right opportunity will come and I will get it,” he added.

“For me I have never hidden my admiration for British football and I will give my all to be there.”

He once plied his trade in South Africa for 2016 CAF Champions League winners, Mamelodi Sundowns.

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Nigerian star Emenike reflects on his Olympiakos move – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Austin Ditlhobolo

Thursday Jul 06, 2017. 11:00

Nigeria international Emmanuel Emenike has discussed his move to Greek champions Olympiakos Piraeus.

The Greek giants confirmed Emenike’s transfer from Turkish side Fenerbahce through a statement on their official website.

The well-travelled striker, who has played in South Africa, Turkey, Russia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and England, discussed his move on All Nigerian Soccer.

“I want to let our fans know that I am here to play and give my best for the club,” Emenike said.

”I will always give my best when I am on the pitch; for the club and its fans.”

The 30-year-old scored four goals in 16 Turkish Super Lig matches for Fenerbahce during the 2016/17 campaign.

Prior to that Emenike had spent the 2015/16 season out on loan at UAE side Al Ain and English club West Ham United from Fenerbahce.

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