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Teboho Mokoena on Hugo Broos: “This coach is the best we’ve had in 24 years”

Abidjan, Ivory Coast: Bafana Bafana star midfielder Teboho Mokoena has reserved special praise for Coach Hugo Broos, insisting he “is the best we’ve had in 24 years”.

For the first time in 24 years, South Africa made it to the semi-final of the AFCON in Ivory Coast, a feat last achieved in 2000.

But an impressive run at the AFCON, which comes to an end on Sunday night when hosts Ivory Coast meet Nigeria, saw Bafana go as far as the last four. They were knocked out by the Super Eagles after the dreaded penalty shootout.

It was the Belgian mentor’s second medal on his second appearance at the AFCON after lifting it on his first attempt in 2017 with Cameroon.

“I won’t say much. Everyone has spoken about the coach,” he said with a smile. “Congratulations to coach, he’s the best coach. No disrespect to other coaches. He’s the best coach we’ve had in 24 years.”

The Mamelodi Sundowns midfielder, who scored two goals and provided an assist at the AFCON, has set his sights on the FIFA World Cup after the historic run. The 27-year-old midfielder, who played a key role in the team’s success, boasts an impressive personal record in the tournament, never having bowed out before the final four.

Teboho Mokoena of Bafana Bafana celebrating a goal scored for Hugo Broos
Teboho Mokoena/AFCON


“I’ve never come to the AFCON and left before the semi-final,” he declared. “I’ve done it at Under 20, Under 23 and now Bafana Bafana.”

However, the ambitious midfielder didn’t dwell on past achievements. He emphasised the importance of focusing on the future: “We must qualify first for AFCON, and we must be at the next FIFA World Cup.”

Interestingly, Bafana meets Nigeria in their next FIFA World Cup qualifier in June. They also have Lesotho, Rwanda, Zimbabwe and Benin in their group.

The reigning footballer of the season expressed his gratitude to his teammates and supporters. “I’m so happy about what we’ve achieved as a team. We’ve worked extremely hard to get to where we are today. I want to thank my teammates for the hard work and everyone who has supported us back home.”

Mokoena’s will be key as South Africa embarks on the journey towards qualifying for the 2026 World Cup. With Broos at the helm and a squad hungry for success, the future of Bafana looks bright.

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