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Mamelodi Sundowns

COMMENT: Have Mamelodi Sundowns overtaken Orlando Pirates as South Africa's No.1 team in Africa?

10:29 PM IST 10/04/19
Orlando Pirates v Mamelodi Sundowns April 01
Goal ranks South African teams based on their performance in Africa's biggest club competitions

It is a well-known fact that Mamelodi Sundowns and Orlando Pirates are South Africa's most successful clubs when it comes to continental football.

The two Premier Soccer League (PSL) giants have won four continental trophies between them since South Africa's readmission to the international football in 1992 - two Caf Champions League titles and two Caf Super Cup crowns. 

Their local rivals Kaizer Chiefs are the only other South African club that tasted success on the continent, having won the 2001 African Cup Winners' Cup and it remains their only Caf title.



Pirates became the first Southern African side to win the Caf Champions League in 1995, before clinching the Caf Super Cup in the following year.

Since then, Buccaneers have reached the Champions League in 2013 and the Caf Confederation Cup two years later, and they lost on both occasions.

Their Gauteng rivals Sundowns have emerged as a giant of African football in recent years having won their maiden Champions League in 2016.

Prior to that, the Brazilians reached the final in 2001 where they lost to a much-fancied Al Ahly side, who ran out 4-1 winners on aggregate.

Sundowns have since emulated Bucs by lifting the Super Cup a year after clinching the Champions League - making it their second continental title.



They came close to securing their second Champions League trophy in 2017, but they were narrowly defeated by Moroccan giants Wydad Casablanca in the final.

This then begs the question - Have Sundowns overtaken Pirates as South African's number one team in Africa?

Sundowns and Pirates have each won two continental titles to date and reached six finals between them in the process.

The fact that the Champions League which is considered to be the premier club football competition on the continent gives Sundowns the edge over Pirates.

The Brazilians have participated in three finals of the tournament, while Bucs have been involved in two finals.

Pirates' only other Caf final appearance came in the Confederation Cup which is the second-tier competition of African club football, ranking below the Champions League.

Furthermore, Sundowns, who are under the guidance of 2016 Caf Coach of the Season Pitso Mosimane, are the only South African representative left in this season's continental tournament.

They advanced to the Champions League quarter-finals from the group stage, while Milutin Sredojevic's Pirates bowed out of the competition after failing to make it beyond Group B.

Mosimane's side is surely a class above all other South African clubs when it comes to continental football having reached the Champions League group stage for a fourth time in a row just a few months ago.