Katlego Mphela is ready to pick up the mantle as the leader of South Africa’s attack for the World Cup, he said.
After the surprise omission of the country’s all-time leading scorer Benni McCarthy from the 23-man squad, Mphela is the player the hosts will turn to for goals starting with Friday’s opening match against Mexico in Johannesburg.
“It does put a bit of pressure on my shoulders but I can handle it,” the Mamelodi Sundowns striker told Reuters in an interview.
Mphela has been the main frontman in South Africa’s recent warm-up matches.
“The coach (Carlos Alberto Perreira) plays me each game which means he has faith in me and believes in me,” said the 25-year-old. “It is up to me now to try and believe in myself and get more goals.
“I am feeling a lot more confident especially scoring right now before the World Cup. It has come at the right moment.”
Mphela has netted four times in his last three outings.