Mamelodi Sundowns president Patrice Motsepe expects that Pitso Mosimane’s success on the continent will provide hope and inspiration for coaches and players across South Africa.
Mosimane became the first South African-born coach to win the CAF Champions League when the Brazilians secured a 3-1 aggregate victory over Zamalek on Sunday night in Alexandria.
After a grueling nine month journey across Africa there was perhaps no more fitting way than to lift the trophy in the Land of the Pharaohs, a nation which has won more Champions league titles than any other – 14.
“We have to respect Zamalek – they’re a big team, and to come to Egypt and raise the trophy here… there no sweeter way to lift the trophy,” said Mosimane.
“It’s undisputable – we played here, and we lifted it here. So we really deserve to lift the trophy, and it was a good game. It was difficult to play in front of the White Knight supporters – it was the first time we had ever faced such a big crowd.
“But I instructed my players before the game to go out and walk on the pitch, as if they stayed in the dressing room, they would get a shock when they came out. So we dealt well with that. I’m proud of my boys, playing for the first time in front of such a big crowd – and we won the trophy.”
Motsepe, who took charge of the club 12 years ago and has made it his mission to conquer Africa, was thrilled to see his quest achieved with a South African-born coach at the helm.
“I had lots of coaches from all over the world,” said the club president. “I had to wait for a young man from South Africa to show us, something that we always knew, that we have so much talent in South Africa. We must just give our coaches a chance.
“It’s no secret that I had tried to get Pitso for some time, even before he went to the national team. When he did that I understood that going to the national team was a part of him making a contribution to South Africa.
There’s a young boy from Soweto, KwaMashu or Khayelitsha, who looks at Pitso and says that here is one of our own winning the highest and most respected trophy in Africa, I can also do it whether as a coach or a player.”