Rivaldo Coetzee of Sundowns during the Absa Premiership 2018/19 football match between Supersport United and Sundowns at Lucas Moripe Stadium, Pretoria on 02 December 2018 ©Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
Tuesday Dec 04, 2018. 13:00
Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Pitso Mosimane believes that Rivaldo Coetzee deserves to be plying his trade in Europe.
The 22-year-old made his long-awaited return to Absa Premiership football over the past weekend, starting in defence for the Brazilians in a 2-1 win over Tshwane rivals SuperSport United.
It was Coetzee's first game in the league for the Brazilians following his move from Ajax Cape Town last year, his first in 469 days; since scoring for the Urban Warriors in a 1-1 draw against Golden Arrows.
"It's good to have him back. It's unbelievable that this boy has not been playing football. He is Bafana material," Mosimane said following the match at the Lucas Moripe Stadium.
"He puts himself in the pool now. I think he can compete with Buhle [Mkhwanazi] in centre-back. He can also compete with 'Tyson' [Thulani Hlatshwayo] to be honest.
"As much as these guys are good as centre-backs, but Mosa [Lebusa] and Rivaldo are giving the option to [Bafana Bafana head coach] Stuart [Baxter] to say the pool is bigger now."
Coetzee was on the verge of joining Glasgow Celtic last year, but failed a medical with injury duly ruling him out of action for over a year.
Sundowns took a gamble in signing the centre-back knowing that he was carrying what at the time was described as a career threatening injury, but their patients seems to have paid off.
"It's sad to see this boy not playing football," Mosimane added. "He deserves to play in Europe to be honest. You can see how he passes the ball between the lines. He finds [Lebohang] Maboe and Themba Zwane as easy as Ricardo Nascimento. He can pass the ball."
"It's a pleasure to see him playing like that because we invested a lot of money on this quality. In my opinion he can play here for the next two years. He needs to move [to Europe], but he needs to play for Bafana Bafana."