Factbox on South Africa

May 18 (Reuters) - Factbox on World Cup hosts South Africa who are competing in Group A at the finals:

Colours: Yellow shirts and socks, green shorts

Nickname: Bafana Bafana (the young lads)

Previous World Cup appearances: 2: 1998, 2002

Best World Cup performance: Failed to get past the first round in previous appearances

Coach: Carlos Alberto Parreira

Most capped player: Aaron Mokoena 97

Top goalscorer: Benni McCarthy 31

Talking points:

South Africa are hoping the recall of McCarthy, left out of last year's Confederations Cup, will help to end a goal drought although he has lacked form and game time since joining West Ham in January.

Injury means the promising Morgan Gould misses out just when he looked to have gained a regular berth in defence alongside captain Aaron Mokoena. It is not clear who will be the first choice to replace him, with Parreira leaving out the best candidate, Spanish-based Nasief Morris who had a disciplinary issue last year.

Another possible candidate was not even considered: Mbulelo Mabizela, a former captain of the national side and arguably one of South Africa's top defenders, has a long history of getting into trouble, even being sacked by English club Tottenham, and Parreira would have nothing to do with him because of his poor disciplinary record.

Players to watch:

Everton's Steven Pienaar was ranked among the best players in the English Premier League this season but has yet to reproduce his club form at national team. He carries a large burden of expectation. Alongside him in midfield Teko Modise has plenty of potential but seems weighed down in recent times by all the attention he has received.

(Compiled by Mark Gleeson; Editing by Clare Fallon; To query or comment on this story email sportsfeedback@thomsonreuters.com)