Augusto Palacios pinpoints Tokelo Rantie's downfall
Posted: 22 March 2018 Time: 16:04
Orlando Pirates' head of development Augusto Palacios has admitted disappointment at the downfall of former Bafana Bafana striker Tokelo Rantie.
Rantie is currently clubless after walking out on Turkish side Genclerbirligi towards the end of last year, when he also snubbed a national team call-up.
The 27-year-old rose to prominence at the Buccaneers, where he managed seven goals in as many starts as he helped the club to the 2011 Telkom Knockout and 2011/12 Absa Premiership titles under the Peruvian tactican.
This earned him a move to Sweden, where he gained further plaudits at top flight side Malmo as they lifted the Allsvenskan championship in 2013, before becoming a then-record signing for Premier League club Bournemouth.
Rantie managed only five goals across three seasons at The Cherries, before moving to Turkey in June 2016 but things went pear-shaped from there, much to the dismay of Palacios.
“He is so talented… So talented, but you also need to look at where you’re going. The money is not all that should attract you,” Palacios tells KickOff.com.
“He reached his potential in Sweden, but what is the level of football in Sweden? You can say, ‘Let me go to Denmark,’ but is that a high level?
“But say, ‘Let me go to Spain or Italy,’ then you’re talking. Because money is not what it is all about. Rantie has pace and the ability, but was Turkey the right move for him? We don’t know. If it’s only about money, then you’ll lose.”
The former Bucs first team mentor feels Rantie’s undoing came largely at the benefit of agents, whom he feels still contribute to the scarcity of South African players in top European leagues.
“He had so much potential. I coached him, I remember simple things we used to do after training – finishing, not looking up but keeping your head down, and a whole lot of things,” he reminisces.
“But, you know, agents sometimes are looking for money and that’s all, they’re not looking where the player can fit in, and that’s important.
“What’s painful for me is in 1992, until Korea/Japan, we had Bradley Carnell, Quinton Fortune, Benni McCarthy, Mark Fish, Lucas Radebe.
“Look at where those players played – Italy, France, England, Spain, but who’s playing there now? Where are we playing? Players are merely thinking about going abroad, no matter where – Israel, Belgium or Denmark.
“Who then gains the money? The agents. Then the players are just sitting there. When you do decide to come back to your country, you should play one year and then retire.”