Jose Riveiro backing Evidence Makgopa to reach new heights

Jose Riveiro backing Evidence Makgopa to reach new heights

Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro says he expects striker Evidence Makgopa to pick up from where he left off at the AFCON, having led the line for Bafana Bafana on their way to the bronze medal in Cote d’Ivoire.

The Spaniard opted against resting Makgopa in the 1-1 DStv Premiership draw away to Mamelodi Sundowns after the player spent more than a month with the national team and featuring in all seven matches. 

Riveiro explained his decision to name the Bafana forward in his starting eleven.

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"I'm not saying this because I noticed any difference already but I'm sure that he's not the same player anymore. He was in a top continental tournament competing with many players who are already having a career in Europe in top sides. Seven weeks camping with his mates, with other exceptional players around him," Riveiro said. 

Up until injuries to Lebo Mothiba and complications with Lyle Foster’s selection, Makgopa was a doubt for the AFCON. His club coach believes the experience of being trusted by Hugo Broos will go a long way in shaping the striker’s career.

"So, all of those experiences obviously are going to play a big role in Evidence's career and I'm really glad that he finally got the opportunity that probably we were all looking for and expecting from him since the moment that he signed for Pirates," Riveiro added.

Makgopa returned to the Pirates fold just in time for the continental tournament having been a fringe player in Riveiro’s first season with The Buccaneers.

Why was the 23-year-old a bit part player?

"One year ago, for many, many different reasons it wasn't possible. Not because he didn't try but like I explained many times he didn't start the season with the same opportunities than everybody else in his position but now it's his moment and I think he's using his moment very well."