Before the FIFA Confederations Cup in 2009, Teko Modise was the darling of the media and regarded as the real brains behind South Africa’s engine room. But during the tournament, Modise tried, and did so hard, but he could not rekindle the spark. Chastised by the media afterwards, he found himself in an unfamiliar position when he went from being a hero whose talent was praised to someone whose ability was questioned. That hurt him, he says, but it was his first major international tournament and the expectations on his shoulders must have been immense. He emerged out of the tournament with scars, but he is hoping to have learned his lessons and is now eager to answer his detractors.
With all said and done, he remains a rare talent, a real joy to watch, and one who can add a whole new dimension to South Africa's game. Blessed with pace, creativity, skill, and an eye for goal, he is the midfield maestro on which many South African fans have pinned their hopes of success. Modise made his top-flight debut with SuperSport United after being spotted playing second-tier football by South African assistant coach Pitso Mosimane. After just one season he left United for Orlando Pirates in a move that proved to be a masterstroke for his career. Since breaking into the Bafana Bafana set-up over two years ago, Modise has rapidly grown into a key figure in the side's attacking arsenal, and his outing in the Confederations Cup will be valuable experience for him.