WATCH | Bartlett hits out at returning SA footballers 'lacking desire' to succeed in Europe

Thlopie Motsepe and Bongani Zungu (@BoonganiZungu08)
Thlopie Motsepe and Bongani Zungu (@BoonganiZungu08)

Bafana Bafana legend and former Premier League striker Shaun Bartlett has made a startling revelation on the current crop of SA footballers' "lack of desire" to succeed on the European stage.

Bartlett is currently the second highest goalscorer in Bafana history, behind only Benni McCarthy on 28 goals with over a century of appearances in the Premier League.

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A number of prominent Bafana stars such as Percy Tau, Keagan Dolly and Bongani Zungu have all returned after spending brief spells in Europe.

"I'd say it's a lack of ambition," Bartlett said, speaking at the Gary and Vivienne Player Invitational charity event in Sun City.

"I'd say it's easier to come back [to South Africa] and earn the big bucks at [Kaizer] Chiefs, [Mamelodi] Sundodnws or [Orlando] Pirates than, you know, going abroad.

"Sacrificing everything in conditions that maybe don't agree with you, in terms of living in a different country, a different language and lifestyle, and not everybody is prepared to do that.

"So, I think that's what it comes down to, we don't have the strong mindsets when it comes to this current generation of players in order to succeed at that level.

"I said previously when I came back to sign for Chiefs, I was 34, and not 28 or 30.

"Now you have players coming back in their prime who'd rather say let me rather go back to play for Chiefs, Sundowns or Pirates and not stick it out in Europe.

"I think that needs to happen a lot more, or the other solution would be for us to send more players at a young age over to Europe.

"That would enable them to be developed early so they can stay there for a while.

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