Fans' passion to boost South Africa at World Cup, says goalkeeper

14:07, May 08, 2010      

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Moeneeb Josephs, goalkeeper for South Africa's national football team Bafana Bafana, believes the passion of supporters will inspire the national team to excel during the FIFA World Cup.

South Africa will host the World Cup, which is set to kick off in Johannesburg on June 11. On Friday Bafana Bafana went through a series of tests, which included checking heart rates, blood pressure, speed and fitness, at the Johannesburg College of Education.

Josephs, who has been with the squad during the month-long training camp in Brazil in March and recently the three-week camp in Germany, told the South African Press Association (SAPA) he was overwhelmed by the reception the team received on returning from Germany last weekend.

"The supporters will play a massive role during the opening match against Mexico at Soccer City on June 11," he said.

"The euphoria surrounding Bafana since we came home has been incredible. I reckon Mexico will crumble under the noise of 90 000 vuvuzelas when we play them."

The vuvuzela is a loud plastic trumpet favored by South African football fans.

The prophets of doom writing off Bafana, who slipped to a 90th place in the FIFA world rankings this month, will be eating their words, Josephs said.

"Do not write us off. Apart from getting our passionate fans behind us against Mexico and in the other group matches against Uruguay and France, the players will surprise everyone. We are not going to make up numbers or go out in the first round."

Bafana's spirit had been lifted after the two camps where bonds have been forged between the players and head coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, he said.

"We have worked really hard. We will be one of the fittest teams at the World Cup and believe me we are determined to make the country proud," said Josephs.



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