Pitso pledges his loyalty to Sundowns
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane declined a handful of offers before extending his stay with the Brazilians by four years.
Early this season, reports were rife that Mosimane had attracted interest from the Middle East and North Africa as he entered the last term of his contract with Sundowns, where he has enjoyed seven and a half years.
At Sundowns, Mosimane has won four championship titles, one CAF Champions League crown, one CAF Super Cup, two Telkom Knockout titles and one Nedbank Cup as he became the country's most successful coach.
Despite having engraved his name in the history of club football on the continent, Jingles has been vocal about his intention to continue with the Sundowns project - especially because he still enjoys the support of club president Patrice Motsepe, the players and supporters.
Early this year, Mosimane and the club were at an advanced stage of finalising terms of a new contract, and they still had to iron out details pertaining to “principle and the future - as money was not the stumbling block”.
It was only on Thursday, though, that Motsepe announced that Mosimane finally put pen to paper.
However, while Mosimane acknowledged that his contract negotiations took longer than expected, he says he was always loyal to the Brazilians, amid interest from international and local clubs.
“I’ve had offers all the time. I’ve had offers from here, South Africa,” Mosimane said.
“Steve Komphela (his friend and Golden Arrows coach) once said, ‘don’t envy the neighbour, be happy with what you have’. If you are happy with what you have, you’ll never look on the other side. Your family is your family, I can’t swop them for mine and vice versa. So, stay where you are, where you are loved and supported.”
Considering the trophy cabinets at Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates have gathered dust for five and six years respectively, could it be that the local offers Mosimane is talking about were from one of the Soweto giants or both clubs?
“I am not going to mention teams. Those are some of the things that are confidential. If you talk to some of the people, you get humbled. But you don’t get distracted. So, you have to respect them,” Mosimane explained.
While Chiefs and Pirates are searching for their first league title in five and eight seasons respectively, Mosimane and his charges, who are back-to-back champions, have a bigger fish to fry - their target is to add a second African championship star above their crest.
The 55-year-old coach, who led the Brazilians to the semi-finals and quarter-finals in the last two continental seasons, knows it won’t be easy to achieve that feat but says the new four-year chapter at the club gives him a chance to look at things with a better perspective.
“He’s (Motsepe) right. I also want the Champions League for myself. It needs to come. But you don’t buy it. It’s difficult to get it, sometimes you are doing exceptionally well and unfortunate things happen.
“Look at how we won it. We were out of it, and we came back because AS Vita Club were defaulted and we won it. At this point in time, we have a star and who cares how it came? Football is a game of moments really.”
He continued: “This season, we didn’t lose a single game in the group stage, and we thought ‘wow’, and then we bombed out in the quarter-finals. Last year, we were not top of the group and we went to the semi-finals. So, I don’t know how to describe it. This thing is a jigsaw puzzle really.”