LOOK: Pitso Mosimane delivers on yet another promise - earns Al Ahli promotion to Saudi Arabia's top league

Pitso Mosimane during the SAFA Press Conference at the SAFA House, Johannesburg

Pitso Mosimane earned Saudi Arabian club Al Ahli promotion to that country’s elite league this week and in true Jingles fashion he celebrated by sharing the news on social media. Picture: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published May 4, 2023


Johannesburg - The tweet was typical Pitso Mosimane – bold and unflinchingly confident although his detractors would say cocky and arrogant. But when you have delivered on your promises, why should you be reticent or humble?

Mosimane earned Saudi Arabian club Al Ahli promotion to that country’s elite league this week and in true Jingles fashion he celebrated by sharing the news on social media, posting a picture of himself and his lieutenants on the pitch proudly brandishing the South African flag.

“Navy Seals! We deliver big projects in any League, Country or Continent. Bring it On! Also The Flag is always with us,” he tweeted on Thursday morning.

South Africans reacted by showering the highly-decorated coach with congratulatory messages, one of which suggested he should be given the Chelsea job – Mosimane having previously taken a dig a the fact that former Blues captain Frank Lampard coached the London club despite not having proven himself.

“Frank Lamapard he coached Chelsea now, excuse me. Can I have a gig also? Give me the Chelsea players,” he said shortly after leaving Egypt’s Al Ahly and prior to going to Saudi Arabia.

When Mosimane was appointed to Al Ahli, the move was generally seen as a downgrade given that the club was in the lower division. And following Wednesday night’s 2-1 victory over Hajer FC to seal the promotion, Mosimane showed he had not forgotten what his detractors had said.

“They told us we are taking a career suicide (and) that the team has a lot of problems (management, finances, etc), but we bravely took the project, irrespective. They also told us we can’t resuscitate the sleeping giant. We daily whispered to it and tonight, it responded. It’s awake,” he tweeted.

Prior to his departure for Saudi Arabia, the record-breaking South African championship-winning coach explained that he thrived on awakening sleeping giants and pointed to the fact that he had gotten Mamelodi Sundowns from the brink of relegation to turn them into, not only the best team in the country, but to continental giants too.

Though in the lower league they approached him, Mosimane knew that Ahli are one of Saudi Arabia’s top clubs and had been relegated largely due to poor management and those in charge saw Mosimane as the man to return the club to the top where it belongs.

And the man who began his career at a SuperSport United outfit that was also languishing in the relegation zone when he took over saw the challenge as worthwhile, the fact that he had just occupied the biggest coaching post in African club football notwithstanding.

The big question now is whether Mosimane and his ‘navy seals’ will go up to the elite league with Al Ahli or if they will move on to a bigger project. He has always expressed his desire to win a Champions League on another continent having won three in Africa. Staying with Al Ahli will mean he can only get the chance to do that in two years time.

Will he wait that long or will he join one of the teams in Saudi Arabia that will be contesting the Asian Champions League next season?

IOL Sport