Anele Ngcongca says his former Mamelodi Sundowns teammate Khama Billiat is testimony of coach Pitso Mosimane’s ability to turn a raw talent into a world beater.
Billiat has netted 82 goals in 286 appearances across all competitions in his 10 years in South Africa and 47 of those goals were scored under Mosimane at Sundowns.
The Kaizer Chiefs attacker, who started his PSL career with Ajax Cape Town, has yet to replicate the form he showed under Mosimane, only managing 12 goals in 54 games.
Ngcongca, who played with Billiat for two seasons, says the Amakhosi forward is the right man to tell the world about the Sundowns gaffer’s aptitude for coaching.
“Khama will tell you about Pitso, the man moulds you to be the best,” he says.
“No doubt, he (Khama) was good, but Pitso is the kind of coach, who takes a good player and turns them into a world beater.”
According to the Brazilians’ right-back, Mosimane has no peers in Africa, and only compares with the best manager he worked with in a nine-year career in Europe, Belgian boss Franky Vercauteren, pictured below.
Vercauteren, who coached Ngcongca at Belgian side Genk, is currently Anderlecht manager and boasts three league titles and two Belgian Super Cups at the two clubs.
“Pitso is a master at what he does. I am privileged to have worked with him in the national team and now at Sundowns. He’s at the level of one of my best coaches in Belgium, Franky (Vercauteren),” says Ngcongca.
He adds that working with Sundowns’ four-time league winner and 2016 Caf Champions League winner Mosimane, he gets “that same feeling as working with Vercauteren”.
Besides his outstanding tactics that have earned him nine trophies in just over seven years, the former Bafana Bafana international lauds his boss for his open-door policy.
Dismissing the notion that his coach is egotistical, he says Mosimane always has his door open for any player to come and speak to him about their personal issues. “If he sees you are struggling, he won’t hesitate to call you over and encourage you.”
He says people who see him from a distance will always misjudge him.
In any case, Ngcongca adds, the world’s best coaches – Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho – “all have an element of arrogance”.
In 2016, Mosimane was ranked as the 10th best coach in the world by the International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS). He has been at the helm of the Chloorkop side since 2012, making him the longest serving coach at the club in recent years.
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By Mthokozisi Dube