JOHANNESBURG - An African nation could win
the World Cup in the future if the game continues on the right
path, Brazil's World Cup-winning captain Cafu said on Thursday.
Despite five of Africa's six representatives at the World
Cup failing to get past the first round including hosts South
Arica, Cafu said that the continent's football was improving.
Cafu is the only man to have played in three World Cup
finals, winning two of them. He captained Brazil to their 2002
Ghana, who play Uruguay in the quarter-finals on Friday at
Soccer City, were the only African survivors from the group
stage but now have the chance of surpassing the quarter-final
achievements of Cameroon in 1990 and Senegal in 2002 to become
the first African team to reach the semi-finals.
Cafu, 40, Brazil's most capped player, told a media
briefing: "What we are seeing nowadays, is African teams who are
more responsible, more committed, and more aware of what is
needed of them and the responsibility behind representing their
"African football has grown to the extent that the majority of
its players are playing for European teams and that is very good
as they are becoming role models for the youngsters on the
"As far as winning a World Cup such as this, I believe that
first of all you need to have the right teams, the right
determination and of achieving your objectives.
"If African teams can realise the importance of team spirit
they will know that they can win a World Cup.
"If we look at what Ghana has achieved so far, we can be
certain that one African team will eventually win a World Cup."
His views were backed by Danny Jordaan, the chief executive
of the local organising committee, who said Africa must invest
in youth programmes and development if it is to have any chance
of winning the World Cup in the future.
"The prospects are just amazing for us. We have the
possibility of an African team going beyond the frontiers never
achieved by any African country, going beyond what was achieved
in 1990 and again in 2002.
"Roger Milla had his last dance in the quarter-final (in
1990 with Cameroon). Ghana is already there and we hope that we
can see them in the semi-final and final of the World Cup."
But, he stressed, investment in youth programmes was vital
for future success.
"Cafu won the Under 17 World Cup, then the Under 20 World
Cup, then the Olympics, then the senior World Cup and that's
what we have to aim at from an African point of view.
"If you did not do well in primary or secondary school, you
are not going to be a star performer at university. It is not
going to happen.
"Development in football is the same. We have to, as a
continent, focus on development and youth football and Ghana
showed us, the next generation. That is where we must focus on
the preparation for 2014 and the next World Cup."
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