Former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane has admitted he has inherited an Al Ahly squad “strong enough” to win the Caf Champions League as he also declared his intentions to emulate Manchester City coach Pep Guardiola who has won titles in different countries.
Mosimane resigned as Downs coach on Wednesday and was named the Al Ahly coach the following day for his first-ever coaching job outside of South Africa.
He arrived in Egypt boasting a glittering CV that reads five Premier Soccer League titles, a Caf Champions League crown and a Caf Super Cup as his greatest achievements.
The former Bafana Bafana tactician began work on Friday when he conducted his first training session ahead of Sunday’s hosting of Al Mokawloon in an Egyptian Premier League match.
By his own admission, the inspiration for taking up his new job came from Guardiola who won three La Liga titles with Barcelona, as many Bundesliga crowns with Bayern Munich and guided City to the Premier League champions podium twice.
“When you are a football coach, you are a professional business person,” Mosimane told Ahly's television channel as per Al Ahram.
“If Pep Guardiola can leave Spain, go to Germany and then go to England, with different cultures and different languages, so why can't I do the same? We are professionals, and football is an international game. You follow football wherever you are, as long as it is football.”
He inherits an Al Ahly team which is on top of the Egyptian Premier League standings 15 points clear of second-placed archrivals Zamalek and have already been declared 2019/20 season champions.
With four league matches remaining for the Red Devils, Mosimane is pressed to maintain or extend their 15-point lead for prestige.
Al Ahly are also in the Caf Champions League semi-finals and take on Wydad Casablanca, a side which became Mosimane's nemesis during his Sundowns days.
Wydad were reportedly after the former Bafana Bafana coach’s signature before he was snapped up by Al Ahly.
Expectations are high on Mosimane to deliver Al Ahly their first league title since 2013 when they beat Orlando Pirates in the final.
“We need to see if the mentality is right because Champions League is mentality then there is the tactics, technique and all those things,” said Mosimane.
“The team is strong enough to win the Champions League. If you go to the semi-final, you might as well go to the final, it's a one step. And when you are in the final, you might as well win it.”
Mosimane will make history by becoming the first South African coach to take charge of two teams in a single Champions League season.