COMMENT: Why the Caf Champions League is so important to Pitso Mosimane and Mamelodi Sundowns

As they probe for their second star, Goal takes a look at why the Caf Champions League is so important to Masandawana and their coach

Mamelodi Sundowns is the only South African representative remaining in both of this year's Caf inter-club competitions.

At the beginning of the year, South African football fans would have been optimistic that the likes of SuperSport United, Bidvest Wits and rookies Cape Town City would represent the Premier Soccer League (PSL) with aplomb on the international stage.

However, the trio failed to reach the lucrative group stages and that left the side from Tshwane on their own to forage their way through the group stages.

In many instances and in life in general, those who plan and pronounce their targets or dreams, usually end up realising, and that is a notion Sundowns coach Mosimane subscribes to.

The Brazilians are set to resume their group stage campaign on Tuesday against Togo-Port  and Goal takes a look at just why the Caf Champions League is so important for the Tshwane giants' mentor.

Mamelodi Sundowns, Pitso Mosimane

When Mosimane joined the Brazilians, many said he was just an ambitious coach with unrealistic dreams, but his record speaks volumes.

He has spent five years at Sundowns and has brought three league trophies, the Nedbank Cup, Caf Super Cup, a Telkom Knockout and the big fish the Champions League.

Just recently, his team were crowned PSL champions for the eighth time in their history, yet it seems Mosimane's attention is firmly on continental honours. 

Ever since taking over, Mosimane’s vision was not only to test himself amongst the continents best coaches, but to make Sundowns a dominant force in world football.

This certainly cannot be done by winning the PSL title alone, and the 53-year-old former Bafana Bafana mentor understood that. 

Mamelodi Sundowns PS

Apart from conquering the continent, winning the Champions League also gives Sundowns an opportunity of playing at the Fifa Club World Cup, something which Mosimane has been vocal about ever since he gained a taste of it in 2016.

In addition, Mosimane has been blessed to be at a club which has bought into his vision. Not only does he have a united team at his disposal, but an ambitious hierarchy backing him financial. 

Mosimane also understood that success on the continent, invariably makes for s stronger side domestically, and testament to this is when they lifted the PSL title. 

Sundowns are now one of the most feared sides in South Africa and their football is had an added impetus ever since the shift in focus took place. 

Pitso Mosimane & Patrice Motsepe, Mamelodi Sundowns, May 2018

It is certainly a breath of fresh air to see a coach build his side on the premise of African football. The likes of Andile Jali, Jeremy Brockie and  and Aubrey Ngoma among others were all brought on board due to Mosimane's determination to be an African champion once again. 

Their participation in the tournament will come back to aid their careers at national team or club level and could lead to even bigger things.

Mosimane has attempted to instill in his players that belief. Just ask Keagan Dolly as he made a move French Ligue 1 following their African success. 

Article continues below

African football allows South African players an even wider opportunity to attract interest from abroad.

This prospectively brings out the best in the players.While winning the domestic league is financially rewarding and less strenuous, the truth is that continental football has a greater reach and in the long run immense opportunities.  

So, Mosimane's added impetus on continental football is not primarily based on bragging rights, but rather on a broader understanding of what can be achieved, looking at the bigger picture.