Bafana Bafana have a new man at the helm, and after his arrival on Wednesday, here is a closer look at Belgian Hugo Broos’s career and where his travels have taken him.
The SA Football Association (Safa) had been expected to name AmaZulu’s Benni McCarthy as the new coach‚ but after the deal collapsed this week due to the former Bafana striker’s demands‚ Broos suddenly leapt into the forefront.
He has signed a five-year contract to the 2026 World Cup.
Winning the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) with Cameroon in 2017 in Gabon‚ where his team beat Egypt 2-1‚ remains his biggest achievement on the continent and the 69-year-old is certainly no small-time coach.
As he was unattached when Safa came calling‚ it was easy for the sport’s mother body to convince him to assume the seat vacated by Molefi Ntseki a little over a month ago.
Broos’s last engagement was as caretaker manager and sports director at Belgian club Oostende‚ a job he took after leaving Cameroon in December 2017.
His coaching career started in the late 1980s after he retired, having played as a defender for some of Belgium’s big clubs‚ including RSC Anderlecht and Clube Brugge.
He won 24 caps for Belgium and was part of the team that reached the World Cup semifinals in 1986.
Broos has not coached any other national side than Cameroon‚ but he has been at the helm of more than five clubs in Belgium‚ at NA Hussein Dey and JS Kabyilie in Algeria‚ and Trabzonspor in Turkey.
Greek club Panserraikos and Al Jazira of Abu Dhabi completes the list of the other clubs Broos has coached.
Other than winning the Afcon with Cameroon‚ Broos did fairly well in Belgium where he won Belgian manager of the year awards in 1991/1992‚ 1995/1996‚ 2003/2004 and 2006/2007. He won the Belgian league with Club Brugge in 1991/1992‚ 1995/1996 and the Belgian Cup with them in 1991‚ 1992‚ 1994 and 1996.
He also won the league with RSC Anderlecht in the 2003/2004 season.
It goes without saying that Broos will rely on the local coaches he is likely to have next to him on the bench when he needs information on the Bafana players.
His immediate task will be to take Bafana through the 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers that are now likely to begin in September. These qualifiers were initially scheduled to start on the first week of June with a trip to Zimbabwe.
Ghana and Ethiopia complete Bafana’s group that Broos has to win to get to a two-legged playoff to secure qualification to Qatar.
Broos becomes the ninth foreigner to coach Bafana since SA retuned to the international fold in 1992. Ten other Bafana coaches were locals‚ including Clive Barker‚ the only coach to win a trophy [Afcon in 1996].
Bafana last qualified for the World Cup when they were coached by Carlos Quieroz in 2002. Barker was the first coach to guide Bafana through the qualification stage to the World Cup in 1998.
Ironically‚ both Barker and Quieroz never got to sit on the Bafana bench during those World Cups as they were fired by Safa for feeble reasons on the eve of taking their teams to the greatest football showpiece.
Qatar will host the next World Cup in December 2022 due to the unbearable heat there between June and July‚ the months Fifa usually uses to host the event.
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