Pitso Mosimane: 'Someone had to step in and deal with the monotony of Chiefs and Pirates'

Mamelodi Sundowns Head coach Pitso Mosimane.
Pitso Mosimane Mamelodi Sundowns Head coach Pitso Mosimane.
Image: Lefty Shivambu/Gallo Images

Irrepressible Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has never been one to back down from a fight and relished the opportunity to challenge the dominance of Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates when he joined the Pretoria side almost eight years ago.

Mosimane’s passion for the game is well documented and even though he knew that stepping into the ring to exchange blows with the two Soweto sides was a daunting prospect, he never wavered in the face of the undertaking.

Sundowns were languishing at the bottom end of the log when he replaced Dutchman Johan Neeskens in December 2012 but since the lowly depths of that season, the Brazilians have either won the league or finished runners-up.

“It has been tough for me but I just think that somebody has got to do that, somebody had to step in and deal with the monotony of the Soweto giants,” Mosimane said.

“I think that it is only fair, it is good for competition. I think that they [Chiefs and Pirates] also like the competition to realise that it is all about life.

“You go to the English Premier League right now, where are the Manchester United stories and them? They are no longer there, Man United and Arsenal ... where are they?

“Now it’s Manchester City and Liverpool. It’s generations you know, it’s the way it is.

“It used to be Inter Milan and AC Milan in Italy. AC Milan had the three Dutch players, Ruud Gullit, Marco van Basten and Frank Rijkaard. Inter Milan, on the other side, had the three Germans, Lothar Matthäus, Andreas Brehme and Jürgen Klinsmann.

“But times change. It’s football, it evolves, there is a time for this one and a time for this one.”

Mosimane has led Sundowns to nine trophies in the years he’s been at the helm and won the Caf Champions League, the Caf Super Cup, four domestic  league titles, two Telkom Knockout trophies and the Nedbank Cup.

He has been a huge part of the great rivalries of SA football in the years he’s been the head coach at Sundowns and he said the competition has been a massive test of his endurance.

He’s had healthy rivalries that have pushed him and these include famous tussles with former Chiefs coach Stuart Baxter, Bidvest Wits mentor Gavin Hunt, Serb Milutin Sredojević at Orlando Pirates and current Amakhosi mentor Ernst Middendorp.  

“There are new rivalries all the time, there is [Chiefs coach] Ernst Middendorp now.

“The thing is you must have endurance — if you don’t have endurance, you will be in trouble,” he said.

“But it is good for me because it is a good test and it is good for me to know who I am. It is good for me to stand the test of time.

“Now there are the two Germans around [Middendorp and Pirates coach Josef Zinnbauer].”

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