Sibongiseni Gumbi
Football Writer
3 minute read
12 Jul 2016
2:33 pm

A marvellous result for all the neutrals

Sibongiseni Gumbi

There is so much to talk about this week. There was something heartwarming about Portugal's stunning Euro 2016 triumph.

Portugal's forward Cristiano Ronaldo (L) and Portugal's forward Eder take a selfie as they arrive to receive their medals after the Euro 2016 final football match between Portugal and France at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris, on July 10, 2016. / AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA

Although I have gripes with how all attention was apportioned to one man immediately after the team’s victory, I will choose not to go into that. But the entire Portuguese team deserve the applause and all the congratulatory notes they are receiving.

Their start to the tournament was not inspiring but the team gained momentum and ended up winning it. And one player reminded me of our very own Philemon “Chippa” Masinga. For Eder to score such a scorching goal was just what was needed to cap a tournament which has provided great memories for fans.

Portuguese coach Fernando Santos put it into perspective when he used an old folk tale to describe Eder’s sudden rise to stardom. Santos said the “ugly duckling has become beautiful”. Eder scored a sensational goal to become an instant hero after helping Portugal to their first European Championship title.

See the full report the Euro 2016 on our international football pages inside – the stories make for good reading. You will also find out why France’s Antoine Griezmann felt annoyed after their loss in the final on Sunday night.
On the local scene, so much is happening as teams reinforce themselves ahead of the new season which starts later than usual because of the Olympic Games in Brazil in August.

We delve into our Olympic team Banyana Banyana’s preparations after they impressively gave international powerhouses the US a good run for their money. Although our women ended up on the losing side, conceding just one goal tells of the progress the team is making. I am sure that after the game, the team was singing “Bring on the Olympics”.

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane is an interesting person, and the things he says can sometimes leave you baffled.

His team are set to play Egyptian giants Zamalek in the Confederation of African Football (Caf) Champions League. What Mosimane said about the tournament and their prospects makes for interesting reading, so enjoy.

Also, remember the name Phuti Motebejane. The 20-year-old could become a big star and solve our goal drought in the Premier Soccer League soon if the scoring touch he displayed at the SAB Under-21 national championships is anything to go by.

Motebejane was born in rural Limpopo, in a village called Nkowankowa.

It took him just one game to make an impression on scouts – including those from Orlando Pirates and University of Pretoria. He says he will not let the attention and rumours about professional teams eyeing him distract him.

Muhsin Ertugral speaks of how he felt on joining Orlando Pirates and what his plans for the team are. The lovable coach’s appointment was met with some disdain in some sections of The Ghost (Pirates fans) and he is aware of the magnitude of the job placed on his shoulders, and is willing to do his best to ensure success.

Our columnist Helman Mkhalele voices his opinions on Olympic-bound Banyana and Amajita’s Caf Youth Championships campaign where they have been doing well, beating Lesotho 2-0 last weekend.