Shabba pins hopes on Africa at WC

It has been eight years since the Bafana Bafana midfielder scored the first World Cup goal on African soil – a scorcher against Mexico on 11 June 2010.

Many commemorated the goal that united the nation, and ‘Shabba’ says he still cherishes the unforgettable moment he worked hard towards in the build-up to the tournament.

“[Playing in the World Cup] is an opportunity that I will always cherish. To have scored that goal was such a great occasion,” Tshabalala told his club’s website. 

“It was the reward for all the hard work put in during our preparations ahead of the World Cup, including those training camps in Brazil and Germany.

“It was one of those special moments of glory I will never forget.”

With the 2018 showpiece having kicked off on Thursday, the 33-year-old is optimistic of one of Africa’s five representatives – Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Senegal and Nigeria - reaching the last-four or possibly going all the way to lift the prized trophy.

“I will back all the African countries representing our continent. I will support all five. I will watch the games and get inspired,” he added.

“On paper, not many football analysts think that an African country will go far at this World Cup. I feel, however, that there is a big surprise in the air. 

“At least one African country will reach the semis and, hopefully, even go all the way.”

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