Shu-Aib Walters was far and away Carlos Alberto Parreira’s biggest surprise in his 2010 FIFA World Cup™ squad. An unknown entity at both his country and abroad, Walters is yet to represent his country at international level and many were in disbelief when his name was mentioned amongst the charges that will do battle for South Africa at the World Cup. The Maritzburg United goalkeeper was included in the squad at the expense of the experienced Arminia Bielefeld keeper, Rowen Fernandez, whose injuries and lack of game time led to his being dropped. While many will be quick to question that choice, the Brazilian has often insisted that there is potential in Walters and he is a capable third-choice goalie - with Itumeleng Khune and his deputy, Moeneeb Josephs, being the preferred keepers.
Born in Cape Town, Walter’s biggest chance came back in 2005 when he was still playing for then-First Division outfit, Vasco da Gama in the national promotion play-offs. His heroics took his team to the finals of the play-offs, but sadly, they never got promoted. However, he did enough to earn a contract with one of the South African Premier Soccer League sides, Bloemfontein Celtic. At Celtic, he experienced mixed fortunes and was subsequently loaned to struggling Durban side, Maritzburg United to revive his game. While he was not exceptional there, he however, caught Parreira’s eye as the coach was scouting for a pool of keepers to chose from. But apparently his performances at the three training camps before the finals persuaded Parreira on the 28-year-old’s ability.