Former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane is set to pocket R2-million monthly from his deal with Egyptian and African giants, Al Ahly.
But, in my opinion, this isn’t just about doubling his wages. There’s more to it.
WHY AL AHLY?
Why not? Signing the two-year deal means Mosimane becomes the first African coach outside of Egypt to manage the African Club of the Century. That on its own is a huge honour. Al Ahly are also eight-time CAF Champions League winners, which would be appealing for any coach, let alone “Jingles”.
WHY ABANDON PROJECT PITSO24?
Mosimane signed a new 4-year deal in May. According to reports, he was earning in the region of R800 000 – R1 million per month at Chloorkop, including bonuses. By SA standards, that’s a staggering deal. Including bonuses, he could pocket as much as R4.5-million with Al Ahly. It goes without saying that anyone would jump at an offer that pays them four times more than their previous job. It’s a strong enough reason to abandon Project Pitso24, which would have been a marvel to watch as it unfolded given Sundowns’ success under Mosimane – 11 trophies in just eight years at the club. In all honesty, the man had done it all with Sundowns and unsurprisingly, Downs boss Patrice Motsepe has given him the blessing to move on. It’s a massive blow for Downs.
BUT AL AHLY ARE ALSO A GREAT PROJECT…
Al Ahly are already in the 2020 Champions League semis and just a few matches from winning it. It’s a great opportunity for Mosimane to win his second Champions League title after his exploits with the ‘Brazilians’ in 2016. Beyond this season, Al Ahly, given their squad, will certainly compete for the trophy again in the next year and Mosimane could be at the forefront of it all. With Al Ahly sitting on eight Champions League titles, Mosimane could possibly take them to 10 by the end of his reported two-year contract.
WOULD HE SUCCEED?
Firstly, he’s a born winner and secondly, he’s fully aware of what he’s getting himself into having studied the North African market while coaching Sundowns. Egypt is a hostile environment and as much as Al Ahly pay big money, their supporters are not a patient lot. They expect results, nothing else. Mentally, Mosimane isn’t a pushover. Tactically, he’s astute. He also knows the Al Ahly or North African players well. Before Sundowns played the North Africans, Mosimane would speak about the opponents with such precision. You’d get a sense he knew certain players’ strengths and weaknesses, but focused mainly on the former.
WHAT ABOUT THE HOSTILE AL AHLY FANS?
I’ve been to Egypt at least three times in my life and one trip was for the CAF Champions League final between Al Ahly and Orlando Pirates in 2013. Al Ahly won 2-0 (3-1 on aggregate). The Egyptians are a friendly lot and yet very passionate. If you are looking for real football fanatics in the world, then look no further than the Egyptians. The locals describe them as “crazy”. After a loss, they are unforgiving.
Mosimane will get a hero’s welcome, no doubt . But a happy stay will be dependent only on results and frankly, I think the man is up for the challenge even in a hostile environment.
By FARPost Editor,
Tiyani wa ka Mabasa.