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CAF Champions League

Feature: Everything you wanted to know about Saint George

09:55 WAT 13/05/2017
Kedus Giorgis-Al Zamalek
With not much known about Masandawana's Caf Champions League opponents, Goal looked at the history and records of the Ethiopian giants

Mamelodi Sundowns are to set to lock horns with Ethiopian side Saint George in their opening game of the Caf Champions League group stage.

However, not much is known about the side residing in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. Goal decided to give the fans a summary of everything you need to know about the Ethiopian Giants.

Kedus Giorgis, as they are affectionately known were Founded in 1935 and over the years have developed into a true powerhouse of Ethiopian football. St. George are regarded as the most successful club in Ethiopia having lifted the Ethiopian Premier League title a total of 28 titles, with their most recent trophy coming in the 2016 domestic season.

Along their way they have also accumulated 10 Ethiopian Cup wins as well as eight Super Cups, which is a one-off match played between the league and cup winners.

Despite St. George’s dominance on the domestic front they have failed to reciprocate that form on their international stage. Prior to the 2017 edition of the Champions League, the Ethiopian champions had never progressed past the first round of the tournament but with the expansion of the group stages, St. George have already reaped the rewards, having qualified for the lucrative group stages following victory over Congolese side AC Leopards over two legs.

The club are currently headed by Brazilian born coach Neider Dos Santos. The 52-year-old, who took over the side in 2014 following spells with Tanzanian side Simba and Jamaican club Montego Bay United has coincided with St. George’s recent dominance. In St. George’s last 33 games in all competitions they have only lost four matches and are currently topping the league standings with 52 points.

The Ethiopian side are seen to be experiencing a purple patch of late, having won three back-to-back domestic league titles and together with the financial backing of Ethiopian born billionaire Mohammed Hussein Al Amoudi, they have been able to build a formidable team.

Saint George have within their ranks a perfect blend of local talent as well as a strong foreign contingent. Amongst the foreign-born players is a familiar face to South African football in Yasser Mugerwa who was most recently on the books of Orlando Pirates before making the switch to East Africa. 

Another notable player is St. George forward Saladin Said. The Ethiopian international is highly rated in his homeland and after spending a short stint at the Egyptian giants Al Ahly, the 28-year-old attacker is no stranger to continental football.  

St. George are by no means pushovers and come game day Sundowns will have their work cut out as they battle a team which has history and a fanatical fan base behind them, and not to mention financial clout that would give even Masandawana a go for their money.