Bafana Bafana striker Lebogang Mothiba isn’t worried by his recent struggles for club and country, drawing similarities with Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema.
The 23-year-old enjoyed a successful 2018-19 campaign with Strasbourg in France before leading the line for Bafana at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
Mothiba, though, hasn’t scored for the national team since the 2019 Afcon qualifier against Nigeria a year ago, and has been only coming off the bench for his club in Ligue 1 lately.
However, the young striker though isn’t worried about his lack of goals, insisting he has been playing well for Bafana and welcomes the competition for places.
‘As a striker, to score goals is always nice but, firstly, I’m playing well with the [national] team – that’s the most important thing,’ said Mothiba.
‘Against Ghana, you can’t always play. There are also other players that work hard as well, and I’m not the only striker; there are a lot of good strikers in South Africa.
‘And, I think it’s good for coach [Ntseki] to also give others a chance to play, so I just have to keep working hard without expecting to play every game.’
Mothiba also compared himself with one of the top forwards in world football in Real Madrid’s Benzema, who also slumped in form but is now banging in the goals.
‘A little bit [frustrating not scoring], but I looked also at Karim Benzema – the same thing happened with him at Real Madrid, where he played 30-something games and scored like four goals,’ he added.
‘So, these things happen as a striker when you play up front. And, also, the coach and everyone spoke to me and said, “Because you didn’t have a lot of holidays, we just have to take it slowly with you, and when the times comes, you’ll start playing.” But I wanted to play.
‘But they know my body; they know I have to recover and that’s how they did, so I was playing second half [here and there].
‘I’m now starting to play full games [at Strasbourg], and I’m starting the games, so I’m doing well.’
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