After hand-picking 29 mostly local-based players, among whom he hopes to clinch his final World Cup squad, South Africa coach Carlos Alberto Parreira and his team have left for Brazil in high spirits for their one-month camp that starts this week.
National head coach Carlos Alberto Parreira, who took 29 players on a month-long training camp in Brazil, code named "Operation Mount Everest", to prepare for June’s World Cup finals on home soil, says
South Africa needs to be fully prepared.
Parreira, who has tested World Cup glory says experience is far different from walking into a shop to purchase goods, it has to be arranged through proper preparations. "You cannot walk into a supermarket and buy experience. This is the only way - going to Brazil and Germany and learning."
Parreira said his philosophy was simple: "I want Bafana to learn to play
it simple. We need to give a face and identity to South African soccer. We all know what Brazilian, Italian and German soccer is all about, but in South Africa we are mixed up as to our style and identity on the field. I want to give South African soccer a face the world will recognise."
He said the camp will lay the foundation for our World Cup preparations.
“I did the same with Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in the past and the camps were all successful", Parreira said before departure.
A glance at Bafana Bafana’s last 8 games, dating back to October last year show that they have been struggling with their football. Only three victories against lowly Swaziland (6-2), 3-0 against a weak Zimbabwe and 2-0 on Angola have been registered. Other games with Namibia, Japan, Jamaica and with Zimbabwe were drawn.
Parreira said the four matches in Brazil and the friendly against Paraguay would play a major part of his World Cup preparations. Bafana Bafana will face off against four Brazilian clubs while at the month-long camp.
Parreira’s men will face Volta Redonda this coming Saturday, March 13, before taking on Parreira’s former club Fluminese the following day. Bafana Bafana then take on Cruzeiro next Wednesday and Botafogo three days after that.
The national team will complete the month’s fixtures with an international friendly against Paraguay.
Bafana v Volta Redonda on March 13
Bafana v Fluminese on March 14
Bafana v Cruzeiro on March 17
Bafana v Botafogo on March 20
Bafana v Paraguay on March 31