South Africa international Itumeleng Khune has disclosed that Bafana Bafana players played an important role in Thulani 'Cream' Serero's return to the national team set-up.
Holland-based midfielder Serero, has been included in head coach Stuart Baxter's 23-man squad to face Nigeria in their 2019 Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) qualification Group E match on Saturday.
This is Serero's first call-up to the national team in over a year since the playmaker stated that he would only report for duty if guaranteed to be in the starting line-up.
“I grew up with Thulani, our houses were just one robot away from each other, and so we are very close. When he is in the country, he comes to my house or I go to his,” Khune was quoted as saying by IOL.
Khune, who is one of the senior players in the Bafana squad, spoke to the former PSL Player of the Year about returning to the national team.
“We have been talking a lot about coming him coming back, because the team needs him. We only heard from the media that he was not going to be playing for Bafana," he continued.
Khune stated that it is now water under the bridge as the team looks to qualify for the upcoming 2019 Afcon which will be hosted in Cameroon.
“But all is forgiven. We are a family here, and Thulani realised he made a mistake, and had told me he would speak to Safa and the coach about being available again," he concluded.
Serero will be hoping to make his maiden appearance in the 2019 Afcon qualifying campaign when Bafana host the Super Eagles at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg on Saturday.