WATCH: Hugo Broos ready to welcome the real Percy Tau for Bafana Bafana

Hugo Broos is pleased with Percy Tau’s form at Al Ahly. Picture: Samuel Shivambu BackpagePix

Hugo Broos is pleased with Percy Tau’s form at Al Ahly. Picture: Samuel Shivambu BackpagePix

Published Jun 12, 2023


Pretoria - Bafana Bafana coach Hugo Broos is beaming with joy after Percy Tau’s turnaround in fortunes at Al Ahly that saw him win the Caf Champions League.

Tau made the history books on Sunday night when he became the first South African to win the Champions League twice – he first won it with Mamelodi Sundowns in 2016.

His recent success came with Al Ahly, who beat their north African rivals Wydad AC 3-2 on aggregate in the final.

And while Tau might not have scored in the second leg in Casablanca, he was pivotal in Al Ahly’s success, scoring five goals in the competition including in the first leg of the final.

Tau’s form both on the continent and in domestic football augurs well for Bafana, who will need him to replicate it when they host the No 1 ranked nation in Africa, Morocco, on Saturday at FNB Stadium.

The two nations will meet in their last Group K 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier, having already qualified for the tournament in Ivory Coast next year – hence some consider the match a dead rubber.

Broos, though, named a strong 23-player squad. The only notable absentee is Lyle Foster, who started pre-season training with English Premier League outfit Burnley.

So, with Tau high on confidence following Sunday’s success, Broos feels he is in the right state of mind to deliver for Bafana as well.

“What I know about Percy is that when he comes to the national team he wants to perform, but he wasn’t ready to perform a year ago with all the injuries he had,” Broos said on Monday.

After his surprise move from Brighton & Hove Albion two years ago, Tau struggled with form and injuries at Al Ahly – with rumours suggesting that he was set to leave the club.

However, the arrival of coach Marcel Koller gave the 29-year-old a lifeline – one that he duly grabbed with both hands as he looks set to be a contender for the Champions League Player of the Season award.

“First of all, he didn’t play at Al Ahly, and he played, but then he was injured for about four-five weeks. Every time he came to the national team, he was coming out of an injury. So, he wasn’t ready,” Broos said.

“A year ago, I always said that I hope that one day he can leave Al Ahly and he can go to a team where he’ll play, because a good Percy Tau is very important for Bafana Bafana.

“What I have seen in the past few months is a standard player, and he’s playing well. In the Champions League’s games and, including Sunday’s final, you can see he’s fresh and in good shape.

“I know that they won yesterday, and they’ll celebrate – that’s normal. But when he arrives on Tuesday evening, he’ll be ready because I know he’ll perform for Bafana Bafana.

“And he knows that what we saw from Percy, except maybe against Liberia, before he was not at this level. So, I am very happy with what happened to him at Al Ahly. I am looking forward (to seeing him).”


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