The manager of the South Africa national team has opened up on a handshake between himself and Rangers star Bongani Zungu at the end of the country’s 2-0 win over Sao Tome.
Rangers star Zungu was recalled to the Bafana Bafana squad in this international break and has gone on to earn the plaudits of fans and media for his performances.
The Amiens loanee had found himself out of previous squads following a high-profile clash with manager Molefi Ntseki, for whom he’d only played one match before this break.
Zungu was forced to apologise after claiming he was “very angry” at being left out of the national team squad earlier in the year [Goal].
The £2.7m-rated midfielder also claimed he didn’t see himself as part of Ntseki’s “vision” saying that he would instead turn his focus to club football.
“For me it’s clear. I’m not part of Ntseki’s vision, I’m not part of his plans,” said Zungu [Scottish Sun].
“Perhaps I’m not good enough for his team.
“There are no hard feelings. I get the message and I respect it.”
However, after Zungu played a starring role in the win over Sao Tome, Ntseki and the player were caught by South African media shaking hands.
Zungu had come off the bench to assist Percy Tau’s opener with a beautiful lofted pass before scoring the nation’s second goal by heading in a corner in the 2-0 win.
Upon Zungu’s recall, Ntseki insisted he “never had a problem” [Sowetan] with the player and opened up to the media about the embrace ahead of the nation’s return against Sao Tome.
“I think that symbol of shaking our hands like that, it was out of respect for one another because when I shake hands, when I thank everybody, that is a respect I give,” Ntseki said [Kickoff].
“I think it was fitting for him to say thank you and for me to say, ‘Thank you, you came in from the bench, you scored the goal, you came in with the right attitude and you had a very good game.’
“Like I said, you get rewarded if the attitude is right, confidence is right and if the faith towards your teammates and technical team is right.
“I think if you say much about the thank you handshake, it was actually saying to the public out there, there’s never been issues with players because they are the one to make me a good coach and I’m the one to make them better players.
“So it a two-way traffic. The respect we have for each other as South Africans is important.”
Rangers star Zungu would go on to start the match against Sao Tome and play an influential role in the nation’s 4-2 win.