Baxter: Chiefs Star Not ‘The Sexiest Player In The PSL', But...
Stuart Baxter named his provisional Bafana Bafana squad today ahead of the 2019 African Cup of Nations, and selected a Kaizer Chiefs player despite not being the ‘sexiest player in the PSL’.
Daniel Cardoso is one of the few Amakhosi players to come out of the 2018/19 season with any plaudits after a horror campaign for the club as a whole, and Baxter has opted to keep faith in the central defender after he was also in the squad that went up against Libya in the crucial qualifying game earlier in the year.
When questioned on his inclusion of the 30-year-old, the Bafana coach explained that he was picked because of his versatility and also because of the attitude that he can bring to the camp if he’s selected to make the final 23-man squad when it is named next month.
Speaking to the media about Cardoso, Baxter said, “You need characters… You take a lot of players to the tournament, and when I pick the 11 players that are going to be on the field for the Ivory Coast game, I guarantee you there’s going to be a lot of players who are not happy.
“Now, when you pick a squad you want to make sure you have got some good characters in the dressing room, that will put their arm around people and talk, and tell others not to worry. Daniel Cardoso is that sort of person, he can also play right back, so he’s versatile… He gives us options.”
He went on to say, “It’s about balancing the squad, in terms of where we can fill if we get injuries, and also in terms of his character. I think Cardoso is a very good professional… He’s not the sexiest player in the PSL in terms of being easy on the eye, but I think he’s a very competitive, professional footballer. And given the other options I’ve got, I think that’s the one that balances the squad best.”
Cardoso is one of three Glamour Boys in the provisional squad alongside Ramahlwe Mphahlele and Bruce Bvuma.