Mamelodi Sundowns star midfielder Themba Zwane says Mzansi should copy what Morocco are doing, if the country wants to see Bafana Bafana get back to the top of Africa and feature in the FIFA World Cup.

He said Morocco’s combination of players playing overseas and in CAF Champions League is the reason why they are doing well in the big stages of world football.

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Morocco, in their squad that started and beat Spain in the FIFA World Cup round of 16 and Portugal in the quarters, have players who play for Seville (two), Besiktas, Bayern Munich, West Ham, Chelsea, PSG, Fiorentina, Standard Liege and Angers (two).

They finished top of Group F – beating the much vaunted Belgium’s golden generation and Canada to go through, drawing with Croatia.

Morocco, also at the club level in Africa, won the CAF Champions League with Wydad Casablanca beating Al Ahly in May under Walid Regragui in charge before he was appointed as the Morocco coach.

Zwane said what Morocco are doing is the way to go – as they take Africa club competition seriously and also having players who are playing at the top level of club football in Europe.

“We need players who are playing overseas to be involved more because the level that they are used is vital in this stage,” said Zwane, who has been brought back by Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos in the national team.

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“Also, the current players need to push themselves in order for us to compete there in the national team. We need more teams to play in the Champions League, so that we get used to that level.

“If you watch Morocco, some of their players play with them in the Champions League. So we just need that combination and have more teams in the Champions League, so that we can get used to that level.”

When Bafana last qualified for the FIFA World Cup in 2002, they had players who were playing for top clubs abroad such as Watford, SC Heerenveen, VFB Stuttgart, Lokomotiv Moscow, Leeds United, VFL Bochum, Manchester United, FC Copenhagen, FC Basel, Ajax Amsterdam and FC Porto, Udinese amongst others.

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When it comes to the Champions League, Sundowns will be only club that will carry Mzansi’s flag high in the group stages next year after Cape Town City failed in second preliminary rounds against Sundowns’ conquers of last season – Pedro de Luanda, something that Zwane strong feels is letting the country down.

Morocco have become the first African country to reach the World Cup semi finals after beating Portugal 1-0 in the quarter-final on Saturday.


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