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Shabba Discusses Sundowns Dominating Bafana Selection

Former Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana star Siphiwe Tshabalala says the core of Mamelodi Sundowns players in the national team benefits the squad.

Sundowns have been the talk of the town of late after eight straight wins in the DStv Premiership to start the 2023/24 season, added to the African Football League triumph.

While they failed to win the MTN8 and Carling Knockout within a heavily congested fixture schedule with three FIFA International breaks included, there’ve been seven players minimum for Rulani Mokwena’s side within the last three squads named by Hugo Broos.

Captain Ronwen Williams, Khuliso Mudau, Teboho Mokoena, Themba Zwane have seemingly cemented their names in the starting line-up ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations and ‘Shabba’ feels it’s beneficial for the nation.

“It makes perfect sense to have more players from Sundowns in the national team, they are doing exceptionally well, they play good football and mentally as well, they have developed that strong mindset knowing how to win in difficult challenges,” he said.

“They know how to win games, their game management is unmatched and they are dominating on the bigger stage, they just won the African Football League – which is history and something that should inspire our football in South Africa.

“With great resources and investment, we can thrive – Sundowns is thriving not by fluke, merely because of the investment and hard work they do behind the scenes. And for a coach [Broos] to have a core of his team coming from Sundowns, I fully agree with it.

“National team coaches don’t have enough time to prepare, it’s only limited time and it’s also difficult to chop and change, you must make sure you find your core and obviously there will be individuals who well, score goals and get a chance but the core should remain the same, it shouldn’t change.

“I’m sure they also talk in the dressing room, in camp about their success and how it feels, and it’s good to have them in the national team, it’s really good.”

South Africa, who opened their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifying group with a win over Benin, take on Rwanda at the Huye Stadium on Tuesday afternoon (15h00).

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.