Jose Peseiro, the coach of Nigeria’s national football team, has lauded the impact of Mamelodi Sundowns on the playing style of South Africa’s Bafana Bafana, particularly as they gear up for the semi-finals of the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) tournament.
Bafana Bafana’s squad, led by coach Hugo Broos, boasts an impressive contingent of 10 players from Mamelodi Sundowns, a factor that Peseiro believes has significantly influenced their performance in the tournament.
Ahead of their semi-final clash against Nigeria, Peseiro drew parallels between Bafana Bafana’s setup and the successful Spanish national team of 2010, which featured a core group of players from Barcelona. He praised the cohesion and organizational prowess displayed by the South African team, attributing it to the familiarity and chemistry developed among the Sundowns players.
Peseiro remarked, “This team shows good organization. They don’t play in Europe, but they play in the same team. If a team plays with the same players, nine players at least in the first match and play together in the team for one to two years, of course they can improve their organization.”
He further emphasized the compact and disciplined style of play exhibited by Bafana Bafana, commending their ability to minimize space and maintain defensive solidity.
Bafana Bafana’s impressive performance at Afcon has sparked discussions regarding the strength of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in Africa, with many viewing the league as a powerhouse on the continent. The success of Sundowns players in the national team is expected to enhance the club’s reputation in African football, instilling confidence among players as they return to continental competitions such as the CAF Champions League.
As Bafana Bafana prepares to face Nigeria in the semi-finals, all eyes will be on coach Broos to see if he maintains his lineup strategy, which heavily features Mamelodi Sundowns players. The synergy among Sundowns players, evident in their cohesion on the pitch, could prove to be a vital asset for Bafana Bafana as they aim to secure a spot in the Afcon final.