Serero downplays Bafana return
Posted: 13 November 2018 Time: 05:59 pm
Netherlands-based midfielder Thulani Serero has downplayed his return to Bafana Bafana ahead of this weekend’s crucial 2019 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier against Nigeria.
Bafana are set to host the Super Eagles in their penultimate fixture of their Group E qualifying campaign at the FNB Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
With the 28-year-old having made a remarkable return to the international stage after snubbing a call-up just 12 months ago, plenty of debate has taken place around his reinclusion.
However, asked what was important in his decision to make the U-turn, the Vitesse Arnhem star has insisted it was nothing more than his joy for representing Bafana as well as the peace talks with coach Stuart Baxter and the SA football association that brought him back.
“Nothing was important. It’s my career and I’m a South African, and I love playing for my country – there’s nothing more than that. I don’t have to say anything [more],” said Serero.
“There was just a simple conversation [with Baxter] and we understood each other, and I’m here and I’m happy to be part of the team, which is the most important thing.”
The former Ajax Cape Town attacker is set to welcome his first child – a baby boy – early next year but says this had little influence on his decision to return to the international arena.
“I don’t think that played a part. I don’t really want him [unborn son] to play football, I’d like for him to play something else,” he joked.
“But I think it played a little bit [on my mind] but that’s a different matter and doesn’t have anything to do with football.”
Asked whether he would have anything to prove to South Africans come the weekend’s fixture, Serero refused to focus on his personal situation as he emphasised the importance of the team qualifying for the continental showpiece in Cameroon next year.
“I think we shouldn’t make this about me. The most important thing is to win on Saturday,” he said.
“It’s not really about me but what matters is that we get the three points to be able to qualify for the African Cup of Nations.”