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Banda: We Were Actually Better Than Bafana Bafana!

Patson "Sparks" Banda is in the building, and is answering your questions. Today, he speaks frankly about the best striker he played against, the difference between football in his day and today, and what it was like playing in the first ever multi-racial South African side that beat Argentina 5-0.

Who was the best striker you ever played against? – Mabulac

Patson Banda: Can I be honest? All strikers who had big names back then, they were the best strikers, even better than today's crop. You had Khumalo, Dlamini, Junior Ngobe… We're talking about very forceful strikers, they were always a problem for me. I cannot differentiate between them. Unless it's Diza Dlamini, because he scored more goals against me than anyone… he's still celebrating today the fact that he scored the most goals against the great "Kamuza".

What is the difference between football today and in your era? – Khoza-Force-Me-Out

PB: The biggest difference is freedom of expression. Not as a political term, but in a football context. Freedom of expression, that is what most of the players these days are lacking. One has to go on to the field of play and express himself, he must show his talent! Players have got hidden talents, only on the field of play can he express himself, and he can only do it if he gets freedom from the coach. When you bring a player into your team, it is because you have seen something unique in him; now you pick him up and want to give him restrictions? Are you aware that you are eliminating fundamentals from their game? Today, these coaches are so desperate under pressure. So much pressure that they are only focusing on winning, so focused that it is immaterial how they get there.

What was it like when you guys (SA's first multi-racial national team) demolished Argentina? – Tsiesto Mocha

PB: Oh, my man! Please, my brother. That game puts me on the map to the extent that I'm so proud of myself. The performance we gave on that day... playing against Argentina, we were unknowns. Here is Argentina paying us a short visit. You know, the team that was selected was done so on merit. That South African XI was the best team ever, we were actually better than Bafana Bafana! You cannot even compare us to Bafana. Unfortunately, we never went to the extent of winning an Afcon or playing in the World Cup. But we were the very best because we played against the best.

Stay tuned to Supporters Club tomorrow to see the rest of the interview!


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