CHERRIES star Tokelo Rantie believes pitting his wits against the Samba Boys will benefit him greatly as he continues to find his feet in the Championship.
Striker Rantie will be hoping to feature when South Africa host five-times World Cup winners Brazil in a friendly at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg later today.
Rantie, who joined Cherries from Malmo in August, has netted four goals in 17 appearances for his country, including a stunning individual effort in a 1-1 draw with Morocco in October.
The 23-year-old, whose last cap came in Bafana Bafana’s 1-0 win over Spain in a friendly in November, has been restricted to five starts in the Championship in Cherries’ past 17 games.
He told the Daily Echo: “It is every player’s dream to face such good players and we have been given some great opportunities by the federation in the past few months.
“Games between South Africa and Brazil have always been tight and this going to be another good experience for us. For me as a player, there is so much to be learned.
“You can take so many aspects and so much information from a game like this and try to implement it into your own game. I am looking forward to it and the preparation has been going well so now it is for us to try to upset them.”
Rantie has also given his backing to South Africa head coach Gordon Igesund who came under pressure following their dismal showing in the recent African Championships.
He added: “South Africa had been expected to do well in the tournament, especially as they were hosts. After it, there were a lot of people saying the manager should be sacked.
“I don’t know exactly what is going on but, from the information I have been reading, they have been talking to Carlos Queiroz. He might be the man to replace the national team coach but I don’t think I am in a position to worry about that as I am just a player and need to focus on doing well and representing my country.
“To be honest, he has helped me a lot in terms of settling into the national team. He has always had faith in me.
“I think I have done a good job in the national team. Although I haven’t scored regularly, a lot of people have been saying positive things and those are the things that can build you as a player.
“Also, when I came here, I needed a certain number of caps to be able to get a contract. With the opportunities he gave me, it was easier for me to come to England because I had played against some of the bigger countries and had managed to gain knowledge and learn a few things. That helped me in the Championship.”