Keanin Ayer: South African teenager wants to captain Bafana Bafana and dreams of FC Barcelona


Ayer, 18, has impressed during his time with Swedish Superttan Varbergs BoIS FC, showing incredible adaptability since his arrival from the Right to Dream Academy in Ghana.

His tireless work ethic and technical ability have seen the teenager utilised in a variety of roles but he explains that his most natural position is when he's afforded the duty as a ball-winning midfielder.

"I like to be aggressive, winning the ball like [Ander] Hererra, he's small you know but he doesn't fear anything or anyone," he told

"That's my main strengths but I can fulfill other roles, deep-lying, box-to-box and I have the 'shibobo' in my locker if needed."

While he may have left South Africa as a 10-year-old, Ayer admits he supported one of the Soweto giants and cited two Bafana Bafana icons as his sources of inspiration.

"Kaizer Chiefs and Manchester United, so it's been a rough few years for me as a football supporter [laughs] and players... Steven Pienaar, Teko Modise, those are the players I look up to, really top players."

Ayer added that his rapid progress coupled with his ambition are allowing him to dream big and not set any limitations on what he wants to achieve in the game.

"All leagues are never easy, but I'm doing well, I'm adapting very well. As a young player you always have a lot to learn and I understand the dynamics of this as an 18-year-old. The training is improving me, making me more fit.

"My dreams? I want to captain the South African national team, also FC Barcelona? I want to play for them, it's my ultimate dream.

"I see myself getting a bigger move at the end of this season, I don't see myself staying here for long, I just want to progress, maybe get into the Allsvenskan and use that to accelerate to my development."