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Page last updated at 17:10 GMT, Sunday, 9 May 2010 18:10 UK

SA captain Aaron Mokoena targeting World Cup glory

South Africa captain Aaron Mokoena
Mokoena wants the World Cup to stay in South Africa

South Africa captain Aaron Mokoena is optimistic that Bafana Bafana will emerge victorious at this summer's World Cup.

There have been fears that Bafana Bafana could become the first hosts to fail to make out of the group stages.

But there are no such worries for the 29-year-old midfielder.

"This event is big for the African continent and we know it's going to be hard," he told BBC's African sports program, Fast Track.

"But we're the hosts, so we have to do well.

"Doing well means making sure that the Cup stays in South Africa."

Mokoena believes this is just not an opportunity for his country, but also the rest of the continent.

"It's the first World Cup ever in the history of this tournament in Africa and it's an opportunity for South Africa and the African continent to showcase how much talent we have," he said.

"As players, we've come to Europe and we've done well as individuals.

"We have so many players in big teams and those big teams rely on African players.

"So it's about time we showcase that talent in Africa."

As players, we've come to Europe and we've done well as individuals. It's about time we showcase that talent in Africa.

South Africa captain, Aaron Mokoena

Before joining up with South Africa to prepare for the World Cup, Mokoena has the small matter of the FA Cup final with his English Premier League club Portsmouth.

It has been a tough season for Portsmouth both on and off the pitch.

They struggled to keep pace in the English Premier League, losing their first nine league matches of the season.

The club then went into administration because of its huge debts.

This led to Portsmouth being deducted nine points, an action which effectively meant relegation to the second tier of English football next season.

Despite that, the players came back to secure a run all the way to the FA Cup Final against Chelsea on 15 May.

"The situation of Portsmouth has been out the players' control," Mokoena said.

"A nine-point deduction in this league is really big.

"But we have some passionate characters in the dressing room and they wanted to do well and the FA Cup was the only thing we had really."

Mokoena is non-committal about whether Portsmouth can dismantle the English Premier League Champions.

"It's going to be a tough challenge.

"We have great respect for Chelsea and they have experienced players.

"But we are looking forward to it. We want to do well."

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see also
Grant hails Pompey's 'crazy' day
12 Apr 10 |  Portsmouth
Tottenham 0-2 Portsmouth (aet)
11 Apr 10 |  FA Cup
West Ham win relegates Portsmouth
10 Apr 10 |  Portsmouth
McCarthy dropped by South Africa
01 Jun 10 |  World Cup 2010
Mokoena bemoans Pompey's bad luck
19 Oct 09 |  Portsmouth
Mokoena explains Pompey move
04 Aug 09 |  African

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