Former Senegal international striker El Hadji Diouf is appealing to South African football players to go and look for greater challenges abroad, a move he says will benefit the Senior National Team.
Safa-Net reported on Tuesday that the Senegalese who also played for Portsmouth, Bolton Wanderers and Liverpool said the country had top players but most appeared to comfortable playing in the Premier Soccer League and not go for greater clubs abroad.
Diouf was part of the Moroccan 2026 FIFA World Cup bid representatives who visited SAFA House and South Africa on Monday, April 16,2018.
“I always wonder why South Africa can’t dominate the continent and world but players should lead the way by seeking for greater and better challenges abroad. When you play abroad, you end up solidified, get appropriate experience and your technical ability will be of the most astounding benchmarks,” he said.
By playing abroad, the country’s Senior National Team will benefit immensely from that continent
“I spoke to Percy Tau and asked him what he was still doing in the PSL. The boy is good to play for any team on the world including Real Madrid or any of England’s best side. The boy is quality,” he said.
“I watch South African football regularly and on the continent, this country has probably the most skilled player, but they seem comfortable to stay at home as opposed to searching for more prominent challenges overseas,” added the blazing Senegalese.
Diouf said when Bafana played Senegal in the current FIFA World Cup qualifiers; South Africa played the most enterprising football, but lacked the killer punch and experience to bury their opponents.
“South Africa could easily have buried Senegal in two legs but lacked the cutting edge one gets from playing overseas. Look even countries like Uruguay, Brazil or Argentina; the majority of their players play in Europe and that is the thing that South African players must strive to do.”
Diouf appeal for PSL players never to be too comfortable playing at home.
“South Africa players play the best football but need that international experience one only gets by playing in big European leagues. I always ask myself why there is no South African playing either in England or Spain yet the country has the most talented players. They are too comfortable playing at home; which is wrong.
“The reason why South Africa did well in mid 1990s and late 90s was because the likes of Lucas Radebe, Benni McCarthy and Aaron Mokoena etc used to play overseas and their international experience told. Tau has no reason to still be playing in South Africa. He is more talented than Sadio Mane or even Mo Salah,” concluded Diouf