JOHANNESBURG – Crowned as the best in the Premiership for the last half-a-decade, Pitso Mosimane knows what he’s worth but he’s not greedy for greener pastures.
Rewind back to the 2012/2013 season Mosimane took over the reins at a Mamelodi Sundowns team that was flirting with relegation following an underwhelming performance under then Dutch coach Johan Neeskens.
But after just less than a year in charge, Mosimane turned the Brazilians into an astute football team that blended mesmeric play with a winning formula. In his next season at the helm, Mosimane won the Premiership.
From thereon, success became a norm at Chloorkop - winning three more Premiership, the coveted Pan-African competition, Super Cup, Telkom Knockout and Nedbank Cup. The MTN8, however, continues to be the one that got away.
On a personal level, Mosimane was crowned the CAF Coach of the Year in 2016, while in South Africa's elite league he’s been scooping up the Coach of the Season gongs for fun.
That success, moreover, has made him a big figure in Africa and abroad. Recently, he was headhunted by a club from Qatar, who were willing to pay him a fat pay cheque but due to his undying love and loyalty to the Brazilians, he turned down the offer.
“I am at Sundowns because I want to be at Sundowns,” Mosimane stated.
“I am not at Sundowns because I can get more somewhere. And if it was like that, I’d have long made good money. Maybe I am stupid and I don’t understand the business side but I just do what I like and love, and I am happy at Sundowns, for now.
“I am not stupid, knowing that I can get more. I am saying that because I’ve been approached. And I didn’t jump because I want to honour my contract at Sundowns. I don’t hold the team to ransom by saying ‘you see what the people of Qatar want to give me, so also give me or else I am going to Qatar’. I’ve never done that and I am not going to.”
In the bigger scheme of things, Mosimane’s success has been acknowledged even by old 'frenemies'.
After Carlos Alberto Parreira produced an underwhelming performance for Bafana Bafana in the Fifa World Cup that was hosted on home soil in 2010, the South African Football Association (Safa) appointed Mosimane, who had served as assistant, as his successor.
But that union ended in a bitter fashion - Safa sacking Mosimane after they deemed a ‘below par two-year stint’.
Fast track to five years later, Jingles' success has seen his name mentioned alongside coaches that could succeed British coach Stuart Baxter, who’s rumoured to be on his way out after enduring a roller-coaster ride in the Africa Cup of Nations.
But in light of those sentiments, Mosimane appears to be far from re-considering a reunion with the association.
“I have a contract here. And I don’t know if I can do that (go back as Bafana coach).
“The last time we did that (appointed as Bafana coach), it didn’t go well with me,” Mosimane said. “There’s a bit of rivalry between (Orlando) Pirates, (Kaizer) Chiefs and Sundowns.
“So, probably the Chiefs and Pirates supporters won’t accept me because of the rivalry within the country.”