African soccer waking up to its potential says Cafu
Johannesburg: An African nation could win the World Cup in the future if the game continues on the right path, Brazil’s World Cup-winning captain Cafu said on Thursday.
Despite five of Africa’s six representatives at the World Cup failing to get past the first round including hosts South Arica, Cafu said that the continent’s soccer was improving.
Cafu is the only man to have played in three World Cup finals, winning two of them. He captained Brazil to their 2002 triumph.
Ghana, who play Uruguay in the quarter-finals on Friday at Soccer City, were the only African survivors from the group stage but now have the chance of surpassing the quarter-final achievements of Cameroon in 1990 and Senegal in 2002 to become the first African team to reach the semi-finals.
Cafu, 40, Brazil’s most capped player, told a media briefing: “What we are seeing nowadays, is African teams who are more responsible, more committed, and more aware of what is needed of them and the responsibility behind representing their continent.
“African soccer has grown to the extent that the majority of its players are playing for European teams and that is very good as they are becoming role models for the youngsters on the continent.
“As far as winning a World Cup such as this, I believe that first of all you need to have the right teams, the right determination and of achieving your objectives.
“If African teams can realise the importance of team spirit they will know that they can win a World Cup.
“If we look at what Ghana has achieved so far, we can be certain that one African team will eventually win a World Cup.”
His views were backed by Danny Jordaan, the chief executive of the local organising committee, who said Africa must invest in youth programmes and development if it is to have any chance of winning the World Cup in the future.
“The prospects are just amazing for us. We have the possibility of an African team going beyond the frontiers never achieved by any African country, going beyond what was achieved in 1990 and again in 2002.
“Roger Milla had his last dance in the quarter-final (in 1990 with Cameroon). Ghana is already there and we hope that we can see them in the semi-final and final of the World Cup.”
But, he stressed, investment in youth programmes was vital for future success.
“Cafu won the Under 17 World Cup, then the Under 20 World Cup, then the Olympics, then the senior World Cup and that’s what we have to aim at from an African point of view.
“If you did not do well in primary or secondary school, you are not going to be a star performer at university. It is not going to happen.
“Development in football is the same. We have to, as a continent, focus on development and youth football and Ghana showed us, the next generation. That is where we must focus on the preparation for 2014 and the next World Cup.”
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Zee Media exclusive chat with 'Welcome to Karachi' cast
- Reservation issue: Police register case against Bainsla, 20 others
- Zee Media exclusive interview with Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar
- Manali: Heavy corruption found in environmental taxes
- UP Minister allegedly threatens, abuses Gonda businessman
- UP: Jammu-bound Muri Express derails in Kaushambi
- Five unmanned parachute-like objects spotted over Mumbai airport
- Aapke Sitare: Astro prediction for May 24, 2015
- Watch: Fast N Facts @ 7:30pm
- Dawood's intercepted phone calls prove yet again he is in Pakistan
- CBSE Board Class 12th Exam Results 2015 declared
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man?
- Jaipur girl Mini Rajpal wins Miss India Deaf 2015!
- Mumbai architecture creates double decker bus from scrap!
- One year of Modi govt: How satisfied is the common man? Part-2
- IPL 2015 Final: MI vs CSK - As it happened...
- CBSE.nic.in 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board (cbseresults.nic.in) Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced on May 25
- Heatwave continues in North India; death toll in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana more than 400
- IPL 2015 final: Mumbai Indians thrash Chennai Super Kings by 41 runs to lift second title
- Heatwave claims over 550 lives so far, Delhi saw hottest day
- LIVE - Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced shortly
- Check cbseresults.nic.in for CBSE Class 12 result 2015
- Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Results 2015: CBSE Board Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 declared
- Two dead, over 100 injured as Muri Express derails in UP; Prabhu announces Rs 2 lakhs ex-gratia for kin of dead
- Mathura rally: PM Modi slams 'corrupt' UPA regime, lauds NDA govt's efforts in past one year
- CBSE Class 12 results out: Here's how you can check
- PM Narendra Modi's Mathura rally: As it happened
- Check WBBSE (wbresults.nic.in) Class 12th Results: West Bengal Board (wbscvet.org) Higher Secondary Class XII Vocational Results to be declared today at 4 PM
- Public rally on 100 days of AAP govt: As it happened
- CBSE Board 12th XII Results 2015: Cbse.nic.in & cbseresults.nic.in Class 12th XII Exam Results 2015 to be announced today at 12 Noon