Michaelson Gumede
2 minute read
10 Mar 2020
12:33 pm

Wake up and smell the coffee, Pitso tells SA clubs

Michaelson Gumede

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane hopes that one day South Africa will have two representatives in the semifinals, but admits it is still a long way to go before local teams participate regularly in the late stages of the Champions League.

Pitso Mosimane, coach of Mamelodi Sundowns (Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix)

Mosimane was speaking after his side was knocked out of the competition by Al-Ahly, with the Egyptian giants managing a 1-1 draw at the Lucas Moripe Stadium last Saturday to seal a 3-1 aggregate victory over Mosimane’s men.

READ: Sundowns make three new signings, set to add two more

“You have to understand the trend of the Champions League and South Africa must smell the coffee. There are two Egyptian teams (in the semis). Zamalek just won the Caf Super Cup and they won the Egyptian Super Cup. We have two Tunisian strong teams, Esperance and Etoile du Sahel and we have two strong Moroccan teams, Raja Casablanca and Wydad Casablanca.

“We have TP Mazembe, a big team from the DRC and we have Sundowns (from the rest of Africa). So we have a long way (to go), we will do our best and we will fight and do everything to make you proud but we are yet to be on that level, we are not yet there. We are fighting and this is the best that we can do. Sometimes we go through to the semifinals and sometimes we won’t, it is the way it is. Look at the budget, look at the clubs and look at the turn-out at the stadiums,” said Mosimane.

He added: “This is the best Champions League you’ll ever find. Who thought that Esperance would be out? We sit here and we cry and whine but Esperance, with their big budget, they are out. They have won it twice in a row but they are out. It is the same in Europe, there is Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus, Bayern Munich, it is the (usual) top-eight teams. Anything is possible. We will go again next season and try, maybe after five years we will have two South African teams in the semifinals.”

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