Orlando Pirates coach Riveiro opines where South Africa beats Europe - 'There is no time for playing in the streets'

Jose Riveiro, Orlando PiratesBackpage
  • Several youngsters were given PSL debut in 2022/23 season
  • Mailula, Zwane & Ratomo are among them
  • Zwane comments on players' development

WHAT HAPPENED: Riveiro, who was introduced to South African football at the beginning of the 2022/23 season, was comparing Mzansi to Europe in terms of developing talents.

The Spaniard concedes South Africa is talented and individual performances are exceptional. However, he argues there is room for improvement.

WHAT HE SAID: About South African football, it is different. It is a football full of talent in the [Premier Soccer League], [Motsepe Foundation Championship], and DStv Diski Challenge [DDC] as well," Riveiro said as quoted by Far Post.

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"You can see the individual performances are exceptional. The technical level of the players, from my point of view, from a European coach’s point of view, is so high.

"There is room for improvement; even though I don’t have a huge knowledge of the development, how it works, or where the [coaches] put their focus so far. I can only have a bit of an opinion about things at Pirates.

"It is easy to see the number of hours that the players expanded when they were in the early stages of playing football.

"Probably not only in the academies, which is something we are missing a bit in Europe. Players are only playing two, or three times a day in the academies. But there is no time anymore to spend time with your friends. There is no time for playing in the streets as I did as a child for example.

"So that is the main difference that I see. The capacity to solve problems as an individual, the technical level, the skills. However, there are other things that need to be improved as well. It is a long conversation to have, and I have been in SA for 10 months."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: This season, the PSL has seen exciting talents making a statement.

Mamelodi Sundowns had Cassius Mailula and 16-year-old Siyabonga Mabena, while Kaizer Chiefs had the likes of Samkelo Zwane and Mduduzi Shabalala commanding regular game time.

Riveiro handed 17-year-old attacker Relebohile Ratomo his debut meaning the future of South African football is promising.

WHAT NEXT: More youngsters are expected to be given a chance by their respective teams once the new season commences.

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