Be assured of one thing, when South Africa take the field at the 2010 FIFA World Cup, you will hear a loud noise that sounds like ‘booing’ reverberating from the stands as supporters enjoy their favourite shout of “Boooooth”. It won’t be jeering, but rather fans appreciating the contributions of towering defender Matthew Booth to Bafana Bafana. After many years of being overlooked for national-team duty, Booth battled back into contention at a crucial time ahead of the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, which earned him the central defensive place to lose. Indeed, Booth's experience, tenacity and aerial ability could be just what South Africa require, given their occasional difficulties when defending crosses and dead-ball situations. An imposing figure and the tallest member of the South Africa squad, he will feel he has every chance of making a starting role his own.
At the Men's Olympic Football Tournament at Sydney 2000, Booth made history when he led South Africa's first-ever representatives at the competition. He was subsequently selected for the Bafana Bafana squad ahead of the 2002 FIFA World Cup Korea/Japan™, only to withdraw at the last minute through injury. Booth played all five matches for the hosts at the Confederations Cup last year, and he was on the pitch for all 480 of their minutes played. He is expected by coach Carlos Alberto Parreira to keep things locked down at the back with fellow veteran Aaron Mokoena.