CAPE TOWN - Sundowns co-coach Manqoba Mngqithi claims midfielder Rivaldo Coetzee could easily slot into any team in the world.
Coetzee delivered yet another near-perfect performance in the 4-1 victory over Orlando Pirates in the Nedbank Cup quarter-final on Thursday.
The 24-year-old is certainly in stellar form this season since making the transition from centre back to holding midfielder.
"His [Rivaldo Coetzee] passing range is unbelievable, we knew when we converted him into central midfield, very few central midfielders in the country have got a passing range of Rivaldo,” Mngqithi told SuperSport TV.
“For me, Rivaldo can play for any big team in the world in that position, if you can compare him with all the top central midfielders, the sixes, you find [Sergio] Busquets in that space, you will find Fernandinho in that space, he’s got those qualities and he performs at the highest level. For me his intellectual capacity and comprehension of tactics is out of this world."
Coetzee is, of course, a product of the now defunct Ajax Cape Town youth academy has been destined for greatness ever since making his professional debut at just 17 years old back in 2004. The Kakamas-born star went on to play over 100 matches for the Urban Warriors before transferring to Sundowns when a deal to Scottish giants Glasgow Celtic collapsed due to Coetzee failing a medical when it was discovered that he had underlying issue in his right foot.
Sundowns, though, invested heavily in Coetzee with former coach Pitso Mosimane keeping faith in the youngster despite him missing the entire 2017-18 while recuperating.
Coetzee is certainly repaying the commitment the Brazilians have showed in him and they are reaping the rewards, although Mngqithi was full of praise for Ajax CT coaches that groomed Coetzee.
"At times players can rush to make this decisions but Rivaldo is always relaxed and making sure that his passes are as precise as we want and credit must go to the development that he got, coaches that worked with him must get credit,” Mngqithi added.
Coetzee was not among the over-age players selected in the SA U-23 squad for the Olympic Games in Tokyo. He played in the last Olympics Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016.