CR7 picks his best ever goal

Juventus superstar Cristiano Ronaldo has reiterated that the bicycle kick he scored against his current club while in action for Real Madrid in 2018 is the very best that he has managed in his career to date – with an incredible 701 strikes to choose from.
Ronaldo joined the ‘700 club’ when he scored for Portugal against Ukraine during the recent October international break. He then made it 701 when he returned to Serie A action for Juve.
Ronaldo’s goal from a different angle.
 
Ronaldo is now 66 goals behind Pele, widely regarded as the greatest goalscorer in football history.
The Brazilian icon scored 767 times in official games at club and international level during his storied career, a tally Ronaldo could potentially surpass within a couple of years.
 
With so many goals, you might think it would be difficult for Ronaldo to pick his best, but the 34-year-old doesn’t appear to have a problem settling on just one.
 
It is the rarity of a bicycle kick goal that sets it apart for Ronaldo and makes it his favourite, particularly as he had never been able to pull it off in 16 previous years as a professional.
 
Seven hundred goals, it’s an impressive total that makes me all the more proud that few players have reached,” he told the latest issue of France Football.
 
If you ask me to choose [a favourite], I would say the goal against Juventus because it’s a goal I’ve been trying to score for years.”
 
The goal had also helped give Real a commanding lead in what was the first leg of a Champions League quarter-final tie in Turin. Ronaldo himself later scored the decisive penalty deep into stoppage time of the second leg en-route to a fifth personal Champions League title.
 
Zinedine Zidane labelled it ‘one of the most beautiful goals in the history of the game’.
By Jamie Spencer (FotMob.com)

Leshabela shines in England

Here is a round up of how the SA players fared overseas over the weekend…
SIYABONGA LIGENDZA
Siyabonga Ligendza(16), who’s a striker, started and played 71 minutes for Cardiff City’s U18s as they lost 3-2 in the last minute away at Watford in the league. The striker is a regular for Cardiff and has also been played with their U23 side too lately.
TOM BARKHUIZEN
Tom Barkhuizen was on fire for Preston.

If there is a game that doesn’t disappoint in England it’s Preston vs Blackburn, this time they played to a thrilling 5 goal thriller, with Preston winning 3-2 and SA striker Tom Barkhuizen stole the show for Preston scoring a brace as they staged a come back to clinch it by three goals to two.

MAX MCMILAN 
After recovering from injury, Leeds united striker Max McMilan (17) reintroduced himself with a brace as Leeds’ U18s were held to a thrilling 4-4 draw against Bolton Wanderers. The goals are a big confidence booster for the striker.
KHANYA LESHABELA 
SA youth international midfielder Khanya Leshabela (20) put out a man of the match display as Leicester City’s U23 team thumped Southampton 3-0 in Premier League 2 yesterday. Leshabela scored his first goal of the season for Leicester B in that game.
LEBO MOTHIBA
A big night for Lebo Mothiba last night after the Bafana striker got a very important start in Ligue 1 and rewarded his coach’s faith in him with an assist for the winning goal for Strasbourg as they defeated Nice 1-0 in the league to get their campaign back on track and earning himself praise from his coach.
LEBO PHIRI
Lebo Phiri played the full 90 minutes and grabbed an assist for his side EA Guingamp, as they suffered a 2-1 loss to Clermont in France to move down to 10th spot on the log in the second tier.
LUTHER SINGH
Luther Singh played well again.
Singh continued his good performances for Moreirense, where he is on loan and this time the winger won the man of the match award in Moreirense’s 1-1 draw against Boavista in Portugal’s Primeira Liga.
KOBAMELO KODISANG
Kodisang came off the bench in the second half for Braga B as they beat AD Oliveirense 1-0 in the Campeonato in Portugal to continue their good season so far. The winger will be pleased with these minutes after a few weeks on the sidelines.
PULE EKSTEIN
The former Kaizer Chiefs midfielder played the whole game and grabbed an assist for his side Sabah FK as they played out to a 2-2 draw against FC Zira in the Azerbaijan Premier League to now take his tally of assists to two for the current season.
PERCY TAU
Bafana’s Tau lasted 49 minutes as Club Brugge came from behind to draw 1-1 with rivals Standard Liege to maintain their spot on top of the Jupiler league in Belgium.
BRADLEY CROSS 
Youth defender Bradley Cross played 90 minutes for Schalke U19 as they drew 1-1 with Fortuna Dusseldorf U19 in the U19 Bundesliga as their unbeaten run in the past few games continued.
KEANIN AYER
SA teenager Keanin Ayer played 90 minutes for Varbergs Bois as they played out to a 1-1 draw against IF Brommapojka in the Swedish second tier with one game remaining, meaning they need a draw to gain promotion to in the top flight next season.
MIHLALI MAYAMBELA
Winger Mihlali Mayambela featured for 86 minutes for SC Farense as they walked out 1-0 winners against Leixoes in the Portuguese Segunda Liga to move up to second with 8 games played so far in the league.
By Prince Sobayeni

Where you can watch Tau tonight…

Bafana Bafana international Percy Tau has been named in Club Brugge’s Uefa Champions League squad to face Paris Saint Germain at the Jan Breydel Stadium tonight.

Tau and Brugge will look to continue their unbeaten run in all competitions this season.

The Belgian Jupiler League leaders are second in Group A of the Champions League behind PSG.

On match day two, Brugge stunned Spanish giants Real Madrid at their own backyard when they held the record champions league holders to a 2-2 draw at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Since the 25-year-old didn’t feature for Bafana Bafana when they defeated Mali 2-1 in the recent international break, many would have been worried that he won’t be able to play for a week or two.

Tau is in Brugge’s match day Champions League squad.

But the striker has since recovered and even featured in the league against Royal Excel Mouscron over the weekend, so he’s raring to go against PSG.

The striker will be hoping that his contribution of 4 goals and 5 assists in all competitions this season will persuade his manager Phillipe Clement to start him against the French giants.

But regardless of what happens tonight the South African star will certainly be involved as he is part of the match day squad for the game (see above).

Tau will be in Champions League action tonight.

The competition for places has been tough in Brugge’s attacking line with players like Diatta, Okereke, Dennis and Diagne battling it out for a spot in the starting XI.

For Tau, playing in the Champions League has many benefits.

When he moved from Absa Premiership champions Mamelodi Sundowns to English Premier League side Brighton Hove & Albion, he couldn’t play in England due to work permit restrictions so he had to move to Belgian First Division side, Royal Union Saint Gilloise and now Club Brugge on loan hoping that those moves would get him enough points to get a work permit.

With him playing for a Champions League club that dream might come through next season, because playing in this competition earns a player points in the process of acquiring a work permit to play in the United Kingdom (UK).

With Bafana well outside the top 50 countries, Tau’s continuous participation in the Champions League may stand him in good stead.

The game will be broadcast live on SuperSport 11 at 20:50 (PM) tonight, but for those who don’t have access to DSTV you can watch it online via hesgoal.com, Cricfree or lancartv.com.

By Prince Sobayeni

Ntseki on that winning feeling

Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki was delighted with his winning start in charge of the senior national team.

Bafana managed a 2-1 victory over Mali in Port Elizabeth at the weekend, which was a Nelson Mandela Challenge in honour of SA’s first democratic president, who’s now late.

“It was a special one. You know, when you play in a match against Mali and you are honouring an icon like Nelson Mandela, being the head coach… it’s a very good feeling,” Ntseki reflected in conversation with the media.

“I really want to thank the management of Safa [SA Football Association] to have given me this opportunity.

“I think it’s an opportunity that comes once in your lifetime,” he said.

Bafana’s next match is a big one against Ghana away on November 11 as Bafana kick off their qualifying campaign for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations.

 

DEAL DONE: SABC, SAFA AGREE TERMS

The SABC and SA Football Association (Safa) have announced that they have reached a 4-year agreement on the broadcast rights of SAFA matches and events.

The agreement will annually cover:

  • 6 Bafana Bafana matches (3 home AFCON qualifiers; 2 international friendlies and the Nelson Mandela Challenge);
  • 5 Banyana Banyana home friendly matches, inclusive of the Winnie Mandela Challenge;
  • Domestic competitions including the U/19 Women’s National Championship Final, Burger King U/20 National Championships Final, U/23 Men’s National Championships FINALS, ABC Motsepe National Play Offs Final, KAY Motsepe Schools Final, Futsal and Beach Football National Championships FINALS as well as the SASOL Women’s League Finals and various SAFA National Women’s League matches;
  • A weekly SAFA magazine show; and the
  • SAFA Annual Awards.

The Nelson Mandela Challenge between Bafana Bafana and Mali will be broadcast today, live on SABC1 at 15:00.

By Safa.net

Ntseki’s boys ready for Mali battle

Bafana Bafana will take on The Eagles of Mali in the Nelson Mandela Challenge this afternoon (4pm), looking to maintain their decent record against African opponents in this challenge.

The match will be a 14th against an African opponent in the Nelson Mandela Challenge, which honours the late SA president.

South Africa have managed 9 wins against countries within the continent with 5 defeats and one draw. They have also only failed to score in three of those matches but managed a total of 19 goals.

Head coach Molefi Ntseki has acknowledged that there is an added pressure playing in the Challenge given the stature of the man.

“Be it a home or an away game, the pressure and the weight of the match is still the same. We will be approaching the game the same way despite the fact that added pressure will be playing in the Mandela Challenge honouring the late President of this country Nelson Mandela.

“So yes, with that added responsibility we should definitely be able to deal with it because a win will always make all South Africans happy.”

In the overall 24 Nelson Mandela Challenge matches South Africa have won 12 matches with 5 draws and 7 defeats.

 

Ntseki’s moment of truth

Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki is hoping for a positive start to his career as the head coach of the SA national team.

Ntseki filled the vacancy left by coach Stuart Baxter who resigned after the 2019 African Cup of Nations.

His first official assignment is against 57th FIFA ranked Mali in the Nelson Mandela Challenge at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Sunday afternoon. SA ranked 71st.

The former U/17 Men’s head coach admits it’s exciting times for him being on the bench for the first time as head coach.

“Exciting moments that come with very big responsibilities, knowing that it’s your first match and you feel you have to play to win the match of which it’s a very positive feeling. But one also has to understand that in a game of football anything can happen,” Ntseki said.

“Having said that, we are going to give Mali the respect they deserve. When you look at Mali in the CAF and FIFA rankings they are above us. But we are in a very good mood in camp and the players, staff and everybody is looking forward to this match and as a result I think we are very positive and confident that on the day we will do well.”

The match starts at 15:00 at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. This will be the 25th Nelson Mandela Challenge match for Bafana and a 14th time they face an African opponent in the challenge.

Mvala replaces Zungu in Bafana squad

Mothobi Mvala of Highlands Park has been called up to take the place of the injured Bafana Bafana midfielder Bongani Zungu.

The Amiens FC star is the third player to be withdrawn from the squad due to injury after both goalkeeper Brandon Petersen and defender Thamsanqa Mkhize were replaced by Ricardo Goss of Bidvest Wits and Tshepo Rikhotso of Bloemfontein Celtic.

All the 23 players have reported for national team duty including Belgium-based Percy Tau and Kamohelo Mokotjo who plays his club football in England.

Mvala has already joined his compatriots in camp in Port Elizabeth as he arrived on Tuesday night.

The midfield workhorse will be part of the training squad this afternoon where Bafana Bafana will have a session open to the public – taking place at the Wolfson Stadium in KwaZakhele at 15h00.

Bafana Bafana take on Mali in the 2019 Nelson Mandela Challenge scheduled for Sunday.

The clash will take place at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth. Kickoff is at 15h00.

Bafana’s updated squad…

Goalkeepers: Darren Keet (OH-Leuven, Belgium), Ronwen Williams (SuperSport United), Richard Goss (Bidvest Wits).

Defenders: Erick Mathoho (Kaizer Chiefs), Thulani Hlatshwayo, Buhle Mkhwanazi (both Wits), Thapelo Morena, Mosa Lebusa (both Mamelodi Sundowns), Innocent Maela (Orlando Pirates), Tshepo Rikhotso (Bloemfontein Celtic).

Midfielders: Kamo Mokotjo (Brentford, England), Lebohang Phiri (Guingamp, France), Mothobi Mvala (Highlands Park), Dean Furman (SuperSport), Keagan Dolly (Montpellier, France), Thulani Serero (Al Jazira, UAE), Thato Mokeke (CT City)., Themba Zwane (Sundowns), Thembinkosi Lorch (Pirates)

Forwards: Percy Tau (Club Brugge, Belgium), Lebo Mothiba (Strasbourg, France), Bradley Grobler (SuperSport), Kermit Erasmus (CT City).

Safa.net

Ntseki‘s message to ‘hidden’ foreign players

Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki has called on all ‘unknown’ South African football players in foreign countries to come out and avail themselves for the national team.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the Nelson Mandela Challenge match with Mali on Sunday in Port Elizabeth, he revealed that they have been monitoring the progress of a few players including Kaizer Chiefs midfielder Kearyn Baccus.

Baccus who started out at Sydney FC’s youth set-up (Australia) in 2008, expressed his interest in playing for Bafana.

“Last week I was made aware that Kaizer Chiefs player Kearyn Baccus also qualifies to play for South Africa so the monitoring and the profile has already started so that when we bring him in, we will have an understanding on what value is he bringing in,” Ntseki said.

“We have some of the players that we don’t know of that are very good wherever they are. I am saying if ever we do have such players let them come and say I am a South African and I want to play for my country, then we will do all the assessment and profiling and if ever we are happy then we will bring them in.”

The former U17 national team mentor also disclosed that they are monitoring the progress of Preston North End Midfielder Tom Barkhuizen (pictured above).

The 26-year-old was born in England but has a South African grandfather.

Ofhani Munyai

Polokwane keeper says no to Bafana

Polokwane City goalkeeper Cyril Chibwe has explained his decision to choose the Zambian national team over Bafana Bafana.

Chibwe has been called up to the Chipolopolo squad for their friendly international matches.

Bafana Bafana coach Molefi Ntseki made a revelation on Monday that the 26-year-old keeper was contacted for a call up to Bafana for the Nelson Mandela Challenge against Mali in Port Elizabeth on Sunday but declined.

“We made a small research on Cyril Chibwe from Polokwane City. He is a South African – he was born in the North West, so we sent a call up to him to join us for this camp but unfortunately he will be playing for his father’s country which is Zambia,” Ntseki confirmed.

But the keeper who was born to a South African mother says the decision to choose Zambia was to honour his father who was a footballer but never represented the national team.

“My father was a football player in Zambia but never got to represent the national team. So, I am fulfilling not only his dream but mine as well to represent Zambia. It was a decision that I made on my own and discussed with family before accepting (the call-up from Zambia),” Chibwe tells FARPost.co.za.

“Yes, I was contacted by a SAFA representative, letting me know of the call up for Bafana Bafana.

“But I explained my situation as I had already been in contact with representatives in Zambia regarding representing the Chipolopolo team,” Chibwe adds.

His Father, Paul, played as a centre-back for Strike Rovers and later Nchanga Rangers (Zambia) in 1985 before joining Umtata Bush Bucks in South Africa in 1989.