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Broos – He Could Replace Zwane

Bafana Bafana head coach Hugo Broos says it’s up to Patrick Masgwanyi to prove he can be the long-term replacement for Themba Zwane.

The Orlando Pirates playmaker received his first call-up to the national team for their upcoming FIFA Series against Algeria and Andorra in the North African state this month.

It’s set to be fixtures that will prepare South Africa for the June 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

“I think with Maswangnyi, what I saw from him… and I think he can be the one for the future [that replaces Zwane], I saw him playing Wednesday and I talked with Helman, and we said, uhm… but then I saw him play Saturday,” Broos said about the 25-year-old.

“He played a very good game [in the Soweto Derby], this is what I want to see from him in Bafana Bafana, when he can achieve that level, also with us? He can be someone for the future, he can replace Themba for the future.

“I don’t think about replacing Themba now, but we have to think about it, he’s nearly 35, so he will be 36 or 37 in 2026 [FIFA World Cup] and you know when you’re at that age, it can happen [that he’s finished] and then we have to be ready, so let’s hope that he’s the one and we’ve solved the problem for the near future.”

Having started his career at Stars of Africa before a foray to Portugal with Académica U23 and Oliveirense, the technically gifted left-footed midfielder returned to South Africa in August 2022 with SuperSport United.

His four assists in 23 games showcased a glimpse of his potential which saw Pirates snap him up in the off-season and he’s since become an integral part of Jose Riveiro’s starting line-up with with goals and seven assists in 28 games in all competitions.

“Okay, 25, this is a guy for the next, if he’s good enough, for the next seven years hey, it’s not because you’re 32 that you are finished, so you are good for the next years, you are good for 2026, if he’s really the guy,” he explained about the long-term statement.

“But I prefer younger players, but there’s Appollis, there’s Mokwana, those guys are 22, 23, those are ones for the future but okay, 25, 26 is not really a problem, it starts being a problem [to build with] if they are 28, 29. That means he’s already over 30 at [the next World Cup].

“We can have a problem if you take players if you select players of 24, 25, 26 but you have to try to have fewer players that are 28, 29, 30.”

Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Kohler
Lorenz Köhler is an award-winning South African football journalist. Having cut his teeth in the industry working at Kick-Off Magazine, he is now iDiski Times' senior digital content writer. He specialises in breaking top African football stories and transfers with a major focus on the 'big-three' Mamelodi Sundowns, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates and CAF inter-club and international competitions. In 2021 he was listed amongst the top-five journalists under 30 in Print Media for the AIPS Awards.