Broos reveals European interest in Bafana stars after AFCON success

Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos disclosed that the team’s impressive performance in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) has attracted interest from European clubs eyeing talented South African players.

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos during a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations press conference at Palais de la Culture in Abidjan, Cote D'ivoire on February 9 2024.

Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos during a 2023 Africa Cup of Nations press conference at Palais de la Culture in Abidjan, Cote D’ivoire on February 9 2024.

Broos emphasised that the successful AFCON campaign, where South Africa reached the semi-finals before falling short against Nigeria in a penalty shootout, has showcased the abilities of local players and drawn attention from overseas.

South Africa entered the tournament with the highest number of domestic-based players, with 20 players from the DStv Premiership, marking a departure from the trend of relying on players from foreign leagues.

Despite initial skepticism about the squad selection, the team’s notable victories over Morocco and Cape Verde demonstrated the capabilities of the locally based players.

Broos highlighted the significance of achieving positive results to instill confidence in the players and acknowledged the growing interest in some South African players from European teams.

The coach expressed satisfaction with the team’s adaptation to the high level of competition at AFCON and the players’ quick adjustment to the challenges.

The 71-year-old coach, who previously led Cameroon to victory in the 2017 AFCON, noted that the success of the national team could have a positive impact on the overall football landscape in South Africa.

Broos’s words

“We’re the only team with so many local players, it took time to convince the players that they have all the qualities to produce big performances at tournaments like this,” Broos said about the performances, having been questioned about his squad selection.

“Then you need results, if they don’t follow, then it’s very difficult to understand [and believe] what the coach is telling you.

“The results are there, we beat Morocco, we beat DRC, we played a good game against Ivory Coast, so the confidence became more [coming into AFCON], then here we were extremely motivated to show something.

“I felt that from all the players, they wanted to show something.”

“The players now also know [what they can do], there’s interest in some players, they know also now this is the level they need to show their skills.”

“I think they did more than expected of them, they adapted very quickly to this level and that means they have qualities, but again, it should be good to play every week a game like this; you will become better, it’s normal, when you play good teams at a high level.”

“You become better, also I’m very happy with this AFCON that we showed also that South Africa has good players and there are some players now that European teams are interested so that means that we did very well and the players showed they are playing at a higher level than the league in South Africa.”

Broos suggested that the competitiveness of the local league, the Premier Soccer League (PSL), needs to improve to elevate the standard of football in the country.

While acknowledging that Mamelodi Sundowns currently stands as the strongest team in South Africa, Broos brought up the importance of other clubs raising their standards to create a more competitive environment.

He indicated that the improvement in the PSL would contribute to the development of players and enhance their readiness for international football.

Looking ahead to future competitions, including the 2025 AFCON in Morocco and the 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers, Broos hinted at the need for players to make strides in European leagues.

The coach suggested that a balance should be struck to ensure the continued success of the national team while striving to enhance the overall quality of football in South Africa.

Also Read: Grant Kekana urges continuation of Hugo Broos as Bafana Bafana coach

Share This