Radebe: South Africa may surprise

Former South Africa captain Lucas Radebe believes Spain could find the Bafana Bafana side they face tomorrow a different proposition from the one they beat last weekend. Spain meet the host nation in the third-place play-off of the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa™ as the two sides look to bounce back from their disappointing semi-final defeats in midweek.

The Spanish have already defeated the South Africans once in this tournament, winning 2-0 last Saturday in a match in which Vicente del Bosque's side claimed a record-breaking 15th successive victory, and extend their unbeaten streak to a record-equalling 35 games.

The Bafana Bafana will have learnt a lesson [from the Spain match] and they will taken heart from the great game they had against Brazil.
Former South Africa captain Lucas Radebe

A lot has happened since then though, with Spain suffering a shock 2-0 semi-final defeat to outsiders USA on Wednesday, while South Africa can consider themselves somewhat unlucky to have lost to Brazil on Thursday, with Joel Santana's side losing a tight match after falling to Dani Alves' brilliant 88th-minute free-kick.

With that in mind, Radebe does not believe it is a foregone conclusion that European champions Spain will get back to winning ways in the third-place play-off tomorrow.

"Every game is different. The Bafana Bafana will have learnt a lesson [from the Spain match] and they will taken heart from the great game they had against Brazil," Radebe said.

The former Leeds defender added about Spain: "They have the most talent, but little by little, opponents are going to get the measure of them.

"The US showed that you can cause Spain problems by isolating Xavi. Of course this could change when [David] Silva and [Andres] Iniesta are on the pitch.

"Spain suffer because they are the scalp that all the other teams are looking for," he said. "Beating Spain gives you worldwide prestige. This pressure is tough to take."