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Khune not the world best yet

Itumeleng Khune is the best ball distributor in the world, this is the story of South Africa, it’s mediocre football, false sense of pride, not-very world class Premier Soccer League, selective history of football and Ahead of the Saturday night (June 13, 2015) clash between the South African Senior Men’s National Team(affectionately known as Bafana Bafana) and that of Gambia “Mzi” asserted on Andile Ncube hosted Soccer 411 that Itumeleng Khune is the best ball distributor in the world and went on to claim that the other person who do just as good a job when distributing a ball is former Barcelona star goalkeeper Víctor Valdés.
Very few football loving people do not know who Víctor Valdés is, however, the same can not be said about our beloved Itumeleng Khune.Víctor Valdés joined FC Barcelona youth structures in 1995 after leaving CD Tenerife (a lesser known Spanish football club playing in the second division in that country).
After spending seven years in lower tiers of that club (FC Barcelona) Víctor Valdés was promoted to the senior team 2002 and in 2003 he came their first choice goalkeeper.
His time at one of the world’s most prestigious football clubs Víctor Valdés won 21 major titles including six (6) league titles, two (2) Copa del Rey titles, three (3) UEFA Champions League titles and two (2) FIFA Club World Cup titles.
Comparing Itumeleng Khune to one of the most decorated footballers on earth (or)/ to ever play football is not only silly but it also shows just how long a way we have to go as South Africans if we are to ever confront  and perhaps overcome our mediocrity.
This does not began or end with “Mzi” making a silly remark about what makes Itumeleng Khune great; every single commentary about the “heydays” of South African football seem to claim that if those players played today they might have been great but the thing is we will never know.
Every single commentary about the Premier Soccer League seem to claim that it is among the best leagues in the World but the this is it is not – it not even be among the best in Africa.
Maybe it pays well, maybe it is well managed, maybe there are a lot of things that are good about the Premier Soccer League of South Africa but the standard of football is not one of them.
South Africa is home to over 50 million people yet an average Premiership match is played to empty stands, this is not because an average South African can not afford a ticket to go watch the match on Saturday afternoon, it is because an average South African can not be bothered.
The more our media instill a false sense of pride to players and create fake glorious history and talk about “flair” that doesn’t stand a chance in the world stages, the more we are going to slip into the abyss of naïvity and ignorance.
The South African media does not need to be harsh or cruel towards local players or portray history in a negative manor, however, it does need to be critical and object and serve to remind all young players growing up in South Africa that they could be better, they could improve and with hard work and dedication they could stack up to the world’s best.
However, for as long as we claim that “Itumeleng Khune is the Best Ball Distributor in the World”, we are not going anywhere.
What has Itumeleng Khune’s ball distribution skills ever do for South Africa?
This extends to Siphiwe Tshabalala’s opening goal of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, how did the match end? At the conclusion of the group stages where was South Africa placed? At the conclusion of the tournament where was South Africa placed?
Romanticizing bad history is for people who are not ready to confront their problems and find solutions to them.
How many World Cup opening goals were scored before Siphiwe Tshabalala? Who scored those goals? The answer is “who cares?” because it all boils down to who lifted the trophy in the end.
South African football is not good enough, not yet.
South Africans don’t care enough about local football, not yet.
The Premier Soccer League of South Africa is no where near some of the best leagues in the World, not yet.
Bafana Bafana is not good enough to win the second African Cup of Nations title, much less qualifying for the FIFA World Cup or doing well in the finals, not yet.
The day South African players are integral members of clubs such as Arsenal, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Juventus, Milan, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Real Madrid – we would have come a step closer to becoming an African football powerhouse.
The day some of the world’s best football players consider stopping by during their careers or concluding them in the Premier Soccer League of South Africa, it have came a step closer to being world class.
In terms of competitive football Itumeleng Khune is not the best of anything in the world, make no mistake though, he is a very good goalkeeper otherwise he never would have made it a Kaizer Chiefs.
If you want to argue that he is the best in South Africa and the best choice for Bafana Bafana, that is alright but if he is to become world class, he has a lot of work to do – not just him but all the South African players
playing in the Premier Soccer League of South African as well as those playing across the world.
South Africa for all it’s alleged might and the best distributor of the ball in the world faced Gambia in the 2017 CAF African Cup of Nations Qualification match on Saturday night of June 13, 2015 at Moses Mabhida Stadium in the city of Durban in the KwaZulu-Natal province.
Itumeleng Khune started at goals and had very little to do, he did however get the chance to show off his distribution skills.
In the end South Africa failed to score or register a win, they were held to a goalless draw by the visitors.
Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Sphamandla Ntshokotsha

Staff writter

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