Ex Senegal star El Hadji Diouf has encouraged South Africa’s best footballers to look for development in their amusements by moving abroad as opposed to “remaining agreeable” at home.
In recent seasons, a number of the leading lights in the PSL, such as Keagan Dolly and Lebogang Manyama, have remained in South Africa before leaving, while Itumeleng Khune and Siphiwe Tshabalala have been loyal to Kaizer Chiefs, and Percy Tau and Hlompho Kekana are still at Mamelodi Sundowns.
In fact, a number of SA overseas-based players have returned to Mzansi, such as Ayanda Patosi, Mark Mayambela, Anele Ngcongca, Tsepo Masilela and Bongani Khumalo, amongst others.
But perhaps that is the reason why Bafana Bafana have battled since hosting the 2010 Fifa World Cup. They haven’t qualified for a major tournament since the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations, missing out on the 2017 edition, while the 2002 World Cup was the last time they played their way into the game’s showpiece event.
They have again missed out on the 2018 edition in Russia.
Diouf never actually played professional football in his home country, having started out at French club Sochaux, before turning out for the likes of Liverpool, Bolton Wanderers and Sunderland in England.
Diouf played as a winger and striker, and also earned 70 caps for his national team from 2000 to 2008, where he scored 24 goals.
On a visit to Safa House this week as part of a Moroccan 2026 World Cup bid delegation, Diouf encouraged South Africa’s finest to push themselves to play abroad.