AFCON 2023 - South Africa: Hugo Broos the last white wizard

Hugo Broos
AFCON 2023 - South Africa: Hugo Broos the last white wizard

At 71, with white hair, sparkling eyes and a knack for pulling tricks out of his bag... Add a magic wand to Hugo Broos and he could easily belong at Hogwarts. The South African coach is the architect of the South African revival, semi-finalists in the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations.

There was a time in Africa when white sorcerers acted as magicians at the head of national teams. Their magic wands could turn anything into gold. Claude Leroy, Hervé Renard... The latest in this line is none other than Hugo Broos. The 71-year-old Belgian is reaping the rewards of his hard work with South Africa. He has just led Bafana Bafana to the semi-finals of the AFCON 2023. A feat, given that the South Africans had not reached this stage of the competition for 24 years.

Although 3 of the 4 teams to have reached the semi-finals of this year's edition are coached by Europeans (Desabre in the DRC, Peseiro in Nigeria and Broos), the Belgian stands out from the crowd. Having taken over as South Africa coach on May 05, 2021, the 71-year-old has an outstanding record.In 28 games on the Bafana Bafana bench, he has won 15, drawn 8 and lost just 5.What's more, since the start of 2023, he has suffered just 2 defeats in 14 matches, including two victories over Morocco in qualifying and then in the last 16 of this year's Africa Cup of Nations. Nigeria, their semi-final opponents on Wednesday February 07 (17:00 GMT), have already arrived.

Sundowns, the foundation

In the Round of 16 and quarter-finals, Hugo Broos fielded eight out of eleven players from a single club: Mamelodi Sundowns. What's more, of the 27 players called up for this AFCON 2023, 10 come from the South African club. In particular, they have supplied goalkeeper Ronwen Williams and 5 members of the defense. The South Africans have not conceded a goal since losing 0-2 to Mali on Matchday 1. This means they now have 4 clean sheets in a row.

Against the attacking armada led by Osimhen, this defensive quality could prove useful.Meanwhile, Huo Broos, who is thinking about retirement, would like to start with another continental title."I'm 71 and the end is approaching.I feel that some things are less pleasant than before.After the AFCON, I'm going to assess the situation and talk to the people at the Federation to see whether we should continue or go our separate ways. This will be linked above all to issues such as distance from family, and loneliness, which is increasingly difficult to live with. We'll see.

Hugo Broos, the recidivist

Hugo Broos is not a first-timer, however. With the Côte d'Ivoire edition, the Belgian coach had only played in one AFCON. That was in 2017 with Cameroon. To everyone's surprise, the Indomitable Lions won the title.In fact, it was the last time a white coach won the African Cup. South Africa, which has been chasing an African Cup of Nations title since 1996, is starting to dream and with a wizard as their guide, the magic may well work...

SNA tells you more!

No recommendation
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram