JOHANNESBURG – Speaking about the moment of brilliance he produced at Athlone Stadium in his last visit there last week brings out Percy Tau’s famous mischievous smile, even though he says he has moved on from it.
The Mamelodi Sundowns talisman weaved his magic from the centre line to beat four defenders before showing great awareness to scoop the ball towards an oncoming Khama Billiat.
The Zimbabwean forward scored to give the Brazilians their first win over Cape Town City.
That assist further proved why his coach argues that Tau is the leading candidate for Footballer of the Year.
“I always do that skill at training,” Tau said. “In my own training, I do a lot of skills. I am just happy to see it coming out in a match and leading up to a good goal.
“Khama connected very well with the ball. It was a good and important goal because it gave us the win.
“It was one of those special moments that we will always look back as soccer players and laugh about.
“I didn’t have to look up. I know where Khama goes most of the time, so I knew that if I played the ball there, he would be there.”
Tau continued: “I didn’t need to look because this is the type of understanding we have. But I am one guy who moves on very fast because I constantly strive to improve.
“That’s why I put in a lot of hours on my own to improve my game. I have moved on from that goal.
“I am now looking at what I will do in the next game. There’s no pressure to do something that special again. But there might be something else.”
The Brazilians return to Athlone on Friday night to take on first division side Cape Town All Stars in the Nedbank Cup last-32.
Sundowns will be without their coach Pitso Mosimane, who is serving the first of his two-match ban after referee Victor Gomes sent him off last week.
The Sundowns technical team will give some fringe players a run in a bid to have them sharp for the final stretch of the Absa Premiership.
But they will still be competitive and Tau is likely to retain his place in the starting XI to lead the attack.
Mosimane dropped his conservative nature in assessing his players’ readiness to go to Europe by saying that Tau is not only ready, but he deserves to play in the best leagues in Europe.
“The qualities say that he is ready for Europe,” Mosimane said. “The mentality and the ability says that he is ready.
“But you know I am a very conservative coach. I always want to polish things until they shine brightly.
“Percy must go to the top five leagues in Europe (England, Spain, Italy, Germany and France). What will make him go to those leagues is that he must be a leading player at Bafana Bafana. He must score goals.
“He must win the CAF Champions League, the league and Nedbank Cup for us. That’s the passport for him to go to the big leagues.
“At this point in time, he can go to any (of the less glamorous) European leagues. You’ve got Sweden, Denmark, Belgium or Greece. Those countries are still in Europe.
“But in my opinion, he has what it takes to go to the best five leagues in Europe. Let’s have a player in the Uefa Champions League.”