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Bafana Bafana at AFCON. Image: @Bafanabafana/X

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Bafana Bafana players who MUST play abroad

Bafana Bafana players who put on a show during the AFCON can expect to be fielding calls from European clubs on the scout for new talent.

08-02-24 20:22
Bafana Bafana friendlies
Bafana Bafana at AFCON. Image: @Bafanabafana/X

With scouts from Europe watching, Bafana Bafana impressed at the 2023 African Cup of Nations(Afcon) by reaching the semi-finals for the first time since 2000.

The current Bafana team consisted mostly of Mamelodi Sundowns players and their understanding and cohesion were apparent, especially in the knockout stages.

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Hugo Broos’ men eliminated favourites Morocco in the round of 16 before edging out Cape Verde in the last eight.

Bafana eventually bowed out of the tournament following a 4-2 penalty shootout defeat to Nigeria on Wednesday.

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This year’s tournament has been hailed as one of the best African nation’s cups in years due to the unpredictability and also the quality.

European scouts surely watched Bafana’s match during the Afcon and one of the names that is top of the list to move to Europe is Teboho Mokoena.

Here are some of the top-performing Afcon players who should move to Europe soon.

Teboho Mokoena

Having turned 27 last month, Mokoena is definitely at his football peak and should move to Europe in the summer. The former SuperSport United midfielder has been Bafana’s best player at the tournament and this is a perfect opportunity for him to leave South Africa. He has what it takes to succeed overseas, and having played in the Olympics before, the Sundowns man should adapt very well in a different league.

When the team needed a leader in the middle of the park, he showed up and guided Bafana through task moments.

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Thapelo Maseko

The young midfielder is one to watch for the future and having already impressed at club level, he was tasked to play against the likes of Yves Bissouma and Sofyan Amrabat. The 20-year-old Sundowns attacker has done well at the Afcon games before he suffered a hamstring injury against Cape Verde.

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Khuliso Mudau

The lanky Bafana right-back has done his job quietly assisted by Thapelo Morena on the flank. Mudau is the reigning PSL Defender of the Season and arguably one of the most consistent players in the DStv Premiership.

He was linked with a move to English Premier League side Burnley FC late last year. He has been solid throughout the Afcon, having started every game so far for Bafana.

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Ronwen Williams

At 32, Williams still has a chance to play in Europe. The Bafana captain has so far kept four cleansheets in a row at the Afcon and only conceded three goals so far at the Afcon. He played the game of his life against Cape Verde, where he guided South Africa to their first semi-final in 24 years.

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Some players such as Grant Kekana, Themba Zwane, Thapelo Morena, and Mothobi Mvala played well but age is not on their side.

Bafana’s top striker Percy Tau flopped at the tournament and his desire to return to Europe’s top leagues might not be fulfilled.

Evidence Makgopa had a decent tournament but is still not ready for Europe yet. His job now is to take the Afcon experience to Orlando Pirates and start scoring goals regularly. He has the talent, he just needs another season to become a top scorer and more consistent especially when playing under pressure.

Bafana coach Hugo Broos said the door to Europe was available for improving players.