Percy Tau could be Bafana’s Lionel Messi if given free role
CAPE TOWN - Playmaker Percy Tau is destined to become one of Bafana Bafana’s all-time greats if his goalscoring feats in the recent back-to-back 2022 Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers against Sao Tome and Principe is anything to go by.
In the first clash in Durban, Tau bagged a goal and then three days later, a brace in Port Elizabeth. The three goals allowed him to break into the top 10 of Bafana’s all-time leading goalscorers’ list. He is in joint eighth place with Siphiwe Tshabalala on 12 goals.
The list is headed by Benni McCarthy with 31 goals. A few months ago McCarthy predicted that Tau was well equipped to pass that milestone and establish himself as one of Bafana’s greats.
Tau is presently playing in Belgium for First Division Club Anderlecht and is there on loan from English Premier League outfit Brighton & Hove Albion.
“I think Percy Tau has every quality to succeed in Europe and to surpass me as the Bafana all-time top goalscorer,” McCarthy told the media at the time.
“I think when he’s playing for Bafana, they must play him in a position of his choice, any position he favours. He is such a versatile player.”
Apart from the well-taken goals, Tau twice intervened in the matches when it seemed that Bafana was running out of ideas. On both occasions, Sao Tome and Principe with its lowly world ranking of 182, were playing well above themselves and despite Bafana enjoying the upper hand for long spells, they could not capitalise on their dominance.
However, Tau came to light with long-range scoring shots at times when there were no obvious scoring chances. His fleetness of foot around the fringes of the opposition penalty area does not always signal imminent danger but once he has spotted openings in the rear guard, he is capable of unleashing powerful drives that take goalkeepers by surprise.
McCarthy has urged Bafana’s technical staff that if Tau is given a free hand, he could produce performances like world great Lionel Messi.
Since his move to Europe in 2018, Tau’s play has improved in leaps and bounds. Bafana’s next assignment will be the two remaining Group C Afcon fixtures in March next year. Tau will no doubt be the first name on coach Molefi Ntseki’s squad list.
Tau’s rich vein of goalscoring form will make him a marked man in those matches.