South Africa's football coach calls for new attitude

09:03, May 12, 2010      

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Carlos Alberto Parreira, coach of South Africa's national football team Bafana Bafana, said on Tuesday he wants his players to change their mentality ahead of the FIFA World Cup which South Africa will host in June and July.

He does not want his squad to think like local players - he wants them to understand that they are now on an even keel with international stars like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who will be competing in the sporting spectacle.

On the website of the South African Football Association, Parreira said: "I have been telling my players that they should forget about the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) and Bafana Bafana, we are now World Cup players."

He said he was talking about a high level where the demand is very high - technically, tactically, physically and especially mentally.

"You have to be ready for the difficulties in the game, sometimes you are under pressure but you have to be strong mentally and not allow the other team to overcome you, and you have to fight to the end."

One thing which has impressed Parreira of late is the change in the physical attributes of his players, which he says can only bode well for the global showpiece when Bafana Bafana come up against bigger, stronger opponents.

"Physically the team has improved a lot, I am sure the physical condition of the players will not let us down during the tournament, we might have a problem with the technical or tactical aspect but not physically, the players will be very strong and will be ready to face any challenge any team, I am sure about that," he added.

The only concern for now is the Bafana Bafana players who have been based overseas, "but we will get it right", he said.


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