Bafana’s strongest squad for Spain showdown

12 November 2013

Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund has selected South Africa’s strongest possible side, including nine foreign-based players, to take on Spain in an interational friendly in Johannesburg on 19 November, the South African Football Association said on Tuesday.

Midfielder Tokelo Rantie and defenders Siyanda Xulu, Bongani Khumalo and Anele Ngcongca all touched down at OR Thambo International Airport on Monday, while Kagisho Dikgacoi, Daylon Claasen, Kamohelo Mokotjo and Ayanda Patosi were due to fly in on Tuesday.

Training camp

Deon Furman, the final returning player, will land on Saturday just prior to the training camp that starts at 12:00 that same day. It will be the first that the team gets together since their thrilling game against Morocco in October that ended in a 1-1 draw.

They’ll face the Spanish at the FNB Stadium, the same venue where La Roja claimed the World Cup for the first time in the team’s history on 11 July 2010.

Spain, who are also the reigning European champions after becoming the first country to successfully defend the title in 2012, have been ranked number one in the world since 2008. Their squad for the match against Bafana Bafana includes 13 World Cup winners.

World-class players

Crowd favourite Andres Iniesta, who scored the winning goal in extra time in the final against The Netherlands, Cesc Fabregas, David Villa, Alvaro Negredo, Juan Mata, Sergio Ramos and Xabi Alonso will be some of those in action, but Diego Costa, who recently chose to play for Spain ahead of Brazil, was ruled out with a right thigh strain.

Tickets for the match are on sale at Computicket, Shoprite, Checkers and Shoprite/Checkers stores countrywide. They cost R50 for the top tier; R200 for the middle tier and R100 for the bottom tier.

There are also suite ticket packages available for R895 and R1650.

BAFANA BAFANA SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Itumeleng Khune (Kaizer Chiefs), Senzo Meyiwa (Orlando Pirates)

Defenders: Thabo Nthethe (Bloemfontein Celtic), Bongani Khumalo (Doncaster Rovers, England), Buhle Mkhwanazi (Pretoria University), Siyanda Xulu (FC Rostov, Russia), Anele Ngcongca (Racing Genk, Belgium), Tsepo Masilela (Kaizer Chiefs), Thabo Matlaba (Orlando Pirates)

Midfielders: Dean Furman (Doncaster Rovers, England), Kagisho Dikgacoi (Crystal Palace, England), Andile Jali (Orlando Pirates), Daylon Claasen (Lech Poznan, Poland), Kamohelo Mokotjo (PEC Zwolle, Netherlands), Bongani Zungu (Mamelodi Sundowns), Oupa Manyisa (Orlando Pirates), Ayanda Patosi (Lokeren, Belgium), Lerato Chabangu (Moroka Swallows), Siphiwe Tshabalala (Kaizer Chiefs), Sibusiso Vilakazi (Bidvest Wits)

Strikers: Bernard Parker (Kaizer Chiefs), Tokelo Rantie (Bournemouth, England), Kermit Erasmus (Orlando Pirates)

SPAIN SQUAD

Goalkeepers: Iker Casillas (Real Madrid), Victor Valdes (Barcelona), Pepe Reina (Napoli)

Defenders: Alvaro Arbeloa (Real Madrid), Juanfran Torres (Atletico Madrid), Javi Martinez (Bayern Munich), Raul Albiol (Napoli), Sergio Ramos (Real Madrid), Ignacio Monreal (Arsenal), Alberto Moreno (Sevilla), Inigo Martinez (Real Sociedad)

Midfielders: Sergio Busquets (Barcelona), Andres Iniesta (Barcelona), Jorge “Koke” Resurreccion (Atletico Madrid), Cesc Fabregas (Barcelona), Jesus Navas (Manchester City), Xabi Alonso (Real Madrid), Santi Cazorla (Arsenal)

Forwards: Juan Mata (Chelsea), David Villa (Atletico Madrid), Pedro Rodriguez (Barcelona), Alvaro Negredo (Manchester City), Diego Costa (Atletico Madrid)

SAinfo reporter and South African Football Association