Monday Nov 23, 2020. 09:00
South African football legend Jomo Sono has admitted that he never thought Pitso Mosimane would reach the heights he has in his coaching career.
Mosimane started his playing career under Sono at Jomo Cosmos in the 1980s, but it is as a coach that ‘Jingles’ is leaving an incredible legacy.
After cutting his teeth with SuperSport United and serving the national team, Bafana Bafana, Mosimane took his career to a whole different level with Mamelodi Sundowns, winning five league titles and the club’s first CAF Champions League crown in a tenure spanning from 2012 to 2020.
Now he finds himself helming the biggest club on the continent, Egypt’s Al Ahly, with the chance to take the Cairo club to a record-extending ninth Champions League title when they face arch rivals Zamalek on Friday night.
“No, I never thought as a coach he would go that far, but he’s done well,” Sono told KickOff.com.
“As a player he was a very confident young boy. I remember when he was a coach at SuperSport [United], there was a game between Cosmos and SuperSport. His assistant was Thomas Madigage, I think it was SAA [Coca-Cola Cup, Cosmos won 4-1 on penalties].
“I think we played in Petersburg in the cup final, and Cosmos beat them in the penalties and he was shouting we were ‘playing negatively, we parked a bus’ and I could see that when he started attacking he will go far because he wants to win.
“He is a winner, he wants to win. I could see from that day that he is going to do well, even in coaching. He’s got the same attitude as he was as a player. But he’s done very, very well for himself, for Mamelodi Sundowns, his family and the country as well.
“Ya Pitso had all those signs you know [of leadership]. I remember we played Kaizer Chiefs at Ellis Park. There was a goalkeeper called Craig Le Grange at Kaizer Chiefs and I had just scored a place-kick… I was still playing then. It went on and Chiefs scored an equaliser. With about a few minutes to go we got another place-kick. Same position.
“While I was preparing to take it, from nowhere Pitso came and he shot it and he scored. I didn’t expect him to do what he did. After scoring it he said, ‘We can also hit lezinto maan [these things]!’ But what do you say after that? Do you fight? You can’t fight, you celebrate [laughs].
“Typical of him you know, very arrogant, very arrogant you know in his ability. He is so passionate about the game. He is passionate about coaching, as he was as a footballer.”
Ahly and Zamalek will clash at the Cairo International Stadium for the final on the evening of Friday, November 27.