Former Bafana Bafana hitman Katlego Mphela reckons he could have seamlessly surpassed Benni McCarthy on the country’s scoring charts.
Mphela, the 2009-10 Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot winner, represented Bafana on 53 occasions and he netted 23 goals, same number of goals as Kaizer Chiefs forward Bernard Parker, who played 73 matches.
Mphela, who used to average a goal every two matches, believes he could have easily toppled holder McCarthy, who is Bafana’s all-time leader scorer with 31 goals. Shaun Bartlett is second with 29 goals.
“I feel like I was the only person who was going to overtake Benni in the squad. I am still saying if Pitso Mosimane was the coach I would be seating on 50 plus goals. Easy. You can count. I only scored goals when Pitso was involved at Bafana whether as a head coach or assistant coach because he knew me. I understood his system. I understood how he wanted me to play,” the former SuperSport United, Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs striker told FARPost.
Mphela was the country’s number one striker during Mosimane’s tenure at Bafana. Killer, as Mphela is fondly known, is of the view that Mosimane could have led Bafana to Africa Cup of Nations triumph had SA Football Association not sacked him.
“I still feel that the only person who was going to win the Afcon for the county was Pitso because of how he studied the opponents and how we played. We had a system. We went on to beat Egypt, Ghana and Ivory Coast. His results were not bad. The timing was bad. I don’t understand why people wanted Pitso out.”
For Mphela to defend Mosimane may not come as a surprise since the two had a great relationship at Bafana and Sundowns and at some point Mphela was labeled ‘Pitso’s favourite son’.
Surprisingly, the striker reveals their relationship was not rosy all the time.
“If there was running to be done, Pitso demanded more from me. He would have a go at me like other players. At Sundowns, he was fair and honest in his assessment of my performances.
“He would have footage of my matches and show me my mistakes. He would say ‘look you are not doing what I want. Other strikers are not better than you but they are giving me what I want.’ So there was no preferential treatment whatsoever,” said Mphela.
By Hosea Ramphekwa