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Bafana Bafana defender Sibisi: Mbappe and Benzema are also human

11:30 AM GMT 16/03/2022
Ibrahim Obrit, Uganda & Nkosinathi Sibisi, South Africa, June 2021
The 26-year-old is not a newcomer to the national team but he returns this time around when South Africa face bigger opposition

Golden Arrows captain Nkosinathi Sibisi has reacted to the prospect of coming up against Kylian Mbappe and Karim Benzema when Bafana Bafana face France on March 29.

South Africa are set to play against Les Bleus in Lille in an international friendly match, four days after meeting Guinea in another practice contest in Belgium.

Sibisi has conceded he was caught off-guard by his Bafana Bafana call-up as he also admits it could turn out into a nightmare facing Paris Saint-Germain star Mbappe as well as his Real Madrid compatriot Benzema, but says they could “frustrate” the two.

But the Arrows skipper will have to be picked in a Bafana central defensive set-up that already has Rushine De Reuck and Siyanda Xulu.

“The call-up caught me by surprise, I won’t lie. But I guess the coach saw that I have been working very hard,” Sibisi told Sowetan Live.

“I don’t want to be in and out of the squad… now my aim is to show the coach that I am ready to be a Bafana regular.

“Yes, players like Mbappe and Benzema are superstars and no defender in the world likes to play against them but I think if we can be competitive we can frustrate them. We are all humans at the end of the day and it’s 11 vs 11.’’

Sibisi returns to the Bafana fold for the first time since June 2021 when he made his debut in a friendly game he started against Uganda at Orlando Stadium.

It was an evening that also saw Evidence Makgopa and Bongokuhle Hlongwane debuting for South Africa.

“I know I didn’t perform well [against Uganda] but there were a lot of factors that contributed to that,’’ said Sibisi.

“On that day we played with three centre-backs [him, De Reuck and Innocent Maela] and I am not used to that. There was a lot of confusion among us as the centre-backs but it was a good learning curve for me.”

Before jetting off to their tour of Europe, Sibisi would want to give himself some confidence with a steely showing in Arrows' trip to Kaizer Chiefs at the weekend.

“The preparations for the Chiefs game are going well,” he said.

“Our position on the log [11th] isn’t good, so we want to climb up the table, that’s our focus.”