DURBAN - How many times have reputations failed the South African Football Association (Safa) in the past?
The answer to that question is simple and straightforward: Too many. Safa hired Carlos Alberto Parreira as Bafana Bafana coach ahead of the 2010 Fifa World Cup on home soil, and what did the then revered Brazilian do for the nation? Bafana became the first World Cup hosts to crash out of the group stage.
To think that Bafana had a former World Cup-winning coach in charge of them. Parreira came at a huge cost to Safa but the massive expectations the country had on the Brazilian with a reputation came to nought.
Gordon Igesund also came with a glowing CV, the Durbanite boasting four league titles with different teams in the Premier Soccer League. Surely that meant Bafana were on the road to success? But no. Under his tenure, Bafana failed to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
It was the same scenario when Safa appointed Phillippe Troussier as head coach before the country’s debut at the 1998 World Cup in France. So it is clear, then, that reputation doesn’t guarantee success. In football you are only as good as your last game.