- The former Bafana Bafana mentor sees his next move as a challenge that will push him out of his comfort zone, and he hopes Sundowns will use his departure as a fresh start.
JOHANNESBURG. — Pitso Mosimane will earn about US$120 000 a month at Egyptian giants Al Ahly after his shock resignation from Mamelodi Sundowns —barely a month after leading the Brazilians to La Decima.
When winning, and other bonuses are factored in, the coach could earn as much as US$270 000 a month.
The 56-year-old gaffer signed a four-year contract at Sundowns in May this year but, after helping them to overhaul a 13-point deficit to edge Kaizer Chiefs in the championship race, he announced yesterday he had parted company with the Brazilians.
He is now set to become the first black African, or non-Egyptian gaffer, to take charge of the continent’s biggest football club.
His departure also comes at a sensitive time for Sundowns with club president, Patrice Motsepe, announcing earlier this week that heads will roll at the club after the boob involving defender Tebogo Langerman in the Nedbank Cup final.
Langerman, who was suspended for the match, was somehow thrust into the squad for the game and billionaire businessman, Motsepe, said those responsible for the embarrassment will pay a huge price.
It could not be established yesterday whether there will be a complete makeover of the Sundowns technical team, where Zimbabwe football legend, Peter Ndlovu, is the team manager.
However, reports suggested that Mosimane will also move to Egypt with his Sundowns assistant, Rulani Mokwena, and other members of the supporting staff he had at Sundowns.
Other supporting staff expected to follow him to Cairo are fitness trainer Kabelo Rangoaga and performance analyst Musi Matlaba.
His salary alone at Al Ahly will double what he was earning at Sundowns which was in the region of R800 000 and R1 million per month, including winning bonuses. Mosimane will sign a two-year deal today.
Former Barcelona assistant coach, Jose Ramon Alexanko, has emerged as the hot favourite to replace “Jingles” as head coach at Sundowns.
Alexanko arrived in the country in September last year to join the club’s academy before he was promoted to the head of the technical department in May.
Manqoba Mngqithi is set to retain his position as assistant coach at Sundowns.
“It is with a sense of pain and sadness that I announce my departure from Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club. I have accepted an offer to join an international team,” said Mosimane in the statement.
“Mamelodi Sundowns has been my family for almost eight years. President Dr Patrice Motsepe has been like a father to me. He has been a mentor, a friend, a supporter and a confidante. I could never quit him or Mamelodi Sundowns.
“I am only going away to carry the spirit of the Yellow Nation with me.
“After winning five league titles with Mamelodi Sundowns — the 10th for the club — how can a man ever find it easy to say goodbye to his home? How can I say goodbye to the family, the board, the supporters and the fans?
“From the deepest of my heart, I am so grateful that the president has blessed my move. I did not expect less from a man who has been so good and generous to me.
“He is the kind of leader any family, company, team and indeed any country needs. I have been privileged to drink from his well of wisdom.
“My success is his success. Without him, I would not have achieved half of what I have. I leave this family knowing that our bond is unbreakable and hoping that with the passage of time, our paths would come together again. This is not a divorce. We shall remain bonded forever.”
The former Bafana Bafana mentor sees his next move as a challenge that will push him out of his comfort zone, and he hopes Sundowns will use his departure as a fresh start.
“I am taking up this new challenge that will push me out of my comfort zone. I know Mamelodi Sundowns will use this as a fresh and new perspective,’’ he said.
“While I had four years remaining in my contract, this offer is a huge opportunity for me that would not have come had I not had the privilege to be part of the team that led Mamelodi Sundowns in winning the CAF Champions League and reaching the Club World Cup finals.”
In a statement, Motsepe gave the coach his blessings.
“Pitso Mosimane and his agent Moira Tlhagale, who is also his wife, came to brief me on the discussions between Pitso Mosimane and a top Egyptian club,’’ the club boss said in a statement.
“Sundowns have been aware of the ongoing discussions between Pitso Mosimane and the Egyptian club and with other North African clubs.
“I have on several occasions over the past few years expressed my support for Pitso Mosimane leaving Sundowns to coach in North Africa or Europe or Bafana Bafana.
“Football players and coaches have at times an uncertain and inconsistent future and must pursue new opportunities where they may grow and receive greater remuneration.
“I have received a warm and emotional note from Pitso and am very proud of his achievements at Mamelodi Sundowns. Pitso has been the most successful coach in the history of Sundowns and will always be a member of the Mamelodi Sundowns Family.
“I wish him, Moira and his family everything of the very best and I hope to see him coaching in Europe soon.
“Jose Ramon Alexanko will continue in his current role as Technical Director and will carry on with the good work that he is doing at the Academy.
Sundowns will focus on preparing for the upcoming season and is ready to compete in South Africa, Africa and globally.’’ — Kick-Off/SuperSport/Goal.com