Former Barcelona striker Samuel Eto’o believes that South Africa has the potential to become Africa’s powerhouse, but only if they go back to basics.
Eto’o says South African Football Association needs to have a long-term plan with the focus on investing in South African football.
South Africa, together with Cameroon were booted out of the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and the former Cameroonian striker says it is just a matter of time before the two countries take their claim in world football.
Eto’o is one of the continent’s most successful football players. He has won the African Player of the Year award a record four times.
The former Barcelona and Chelsea star believes that despite failing to qualify for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Bafana Bafana have the potential to qualify for the next one.
“The South African team is a very good team. I saw them play. They are a young team. They play very good football, but they need a long vision and keep balance to play top football.”
Former Kaizer Chiefs player Tinashe Negomasha shares the same sentiments.
“They have a good coach. They have the facilities. They have the players. So, sometimes it is a matter of luck. It is a matter of having the right attitude to say we want this more than the next country.”
Like South Africa, Cameroon also failed to qualify for the World Cup. The Indomitable Lions are the current Africa Cup of Nations champions and a lot was expected from them on the global stage.
“Every dream is possible in football, but Cameroon will have another opportunity in four years’ time. Now other teams in Africa like Morocco, Egypt, Nigeria, Tunisia or Senegal have a potential to make this dream come true. They have an opportunity in six months time. But now all Africans will pray for the five teams,” says Eto’o.
He was speaking at the launch of Africa’s biggest five-a-side football tournament. The tournament will be played in six countries South Africa‚ Lesotho‚ Zambia‚ Zimbabwe‚ Swaziland and Tanzania.
The overall winners will travel on an all-expenses paid trip to the 2018 World Cup in Russia.