Johannesburg – Bafana Bafana coach Gordon Igesund says he is looking forward to meeting Brazilian technical director Carlos Alberto Parreira in March next year when South Africa host the five-time Fifa World Cup winners in Johannesburg.
The SA Football Association (Safa) on Thursday announced Bafana would play a friendly international against Brazil on March 5 at FNB Stadium, 18 months after the teams last met in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
“It’s always a great pleasure to have a team like Brazil here and we’re really looking forward to the challenge,” Igesund said on Thursday at Safa’s headquarters.
“I think it’s always great to take the opportunity to chat to coaches about football. Brazil have improved, I’d like to believe that we’ve also improved.
“We will sit down with the coaches and we’ll talk football. Coaches do that all over the world and get different ideas, talk about things and it’s going to be a great occasion.”
Parreira – a World Cup and Confederations Cup winner – enjoyed a long working history with the South African national team, having first joined as head coach in 2007, until resigning in April 2008.
He then resumed his role in 2009 and was in charge of Bafana
during the 2010 World Cup hosted by South Africa, before joining his native Brazil as technical director to head coach Luiz Felipe Scolari, a fellow World and Confederations Cup winner.
The Sao Paulo meeting in September 2012 marked Igesund’s first game in charge of the national team, with Brazil narrowly edging the South Africans 1-0. Bafana received a standing ovation from the Brazilian supporters after the game.
Thursday’s announcement came a month after Igesund’s troops shocked current World and European Champions Spain at FNB Stadium, walking away 1-0 winners against a team packed with World Cup winners and international superstars.
“We need to now... continue from where we left off and show the rest of the world that there is a new era in South African football,” Igesund said.
“It’s an opportunity for us to really show where we are.”
Safa President Danny Jordaan praised South Africa for beating the rest of the continent in hosting Brazil as the world 10th-ranked outfit continued their preparations for the 2014 World Cup, while Igesund believed Bafana would provide the Canarinho with a formidable challenge.
“I think the coach is wanting to prepare his team to the best that he can. He wants to have a tough opposition and I think we will be tough opposition to them.” – Sapa