Former South Africa midfielder Bennett Mnguni says he is not surprised by Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane’s success, likening the tactician to former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Since taking charge of Sundowns in December 2012, Mosimane has guided the Tshwane giants to a Caf Champions League trophy, Caf Super Cup and five Premier Soccer League titles.
That sees Mosimane claiming half of Sundowns’ record 10 league titles in the PSL era and no other coach has managed five league titles, with Gavin Hunt and Gordon Igesund coming close with four each.
Mnguni, who was once coached by Mosimane, likens his former mentor to Sir Alex Ferguson, who won an unprecedented 13 Premier League titles as well as two Uefa Champions League trophies with United.
“I am not surprised that he has achieved so much because when he was coaching us all those years ago‚ you could see that he had vision and mission,” said Mnguni as per Sowetan Live.
“He gave us a good foundation as players and during my playing days you could see that my foundation came from a good coach. He is like Sir Alex Ferguson because he is going to stay for a long time at Sundowns. I just hope that people are not jealous of his success and want to sabotage him. I wish him well because our club still needs him.”
Mosimane himself acknowledged his success, first detailing how he began his coaching career as a player-coach.
During his formative coaching years, Mosimane was responsible for nurturing the likes of Mbulelo “OJ” Mabizela, Mnguni‚ Benedict “Tso” Vilakazi‚ Jonas Mavimbela and Michael Shata.
“I focused on training the youth team that had players OJ‚ Vilakazi‚ Mnguni‚ Jonas Mavimbela and those guys. They ended up playing for the senior team at Sundowns – that was my team and I was focused on that team,” said Mosimane.
“I coached that team and I loved it‚ I fell in love with this thing of coaching. But Ted still wanted me on the bench for the senior team as a player in case he needed a striker.
“Now I am on the bench with the old man like an assistant and we discuss things. The senior team was training earlier in the day and the youth were coming later and we worked around our programs.”
The late Ted Dumitru was Mosimane’s godfather in football coaching as the Downs tactician also drew inspiration from Jose Mourinho.
“Ted used to like good football and you know that‚ he doesn’t like the long balls," Mosimane said.
"I just followed him [Ted] to be honest and he gave me the platform. Once a week the youth played against the senior team and it became a problem with the fighting and I said I can do his thing.
“The team that inspired me more was Chelsea of Mourinho‚ that team of Didier Drogba and Frank Lampard. It was an unbelievable team‚ I fell in love with that team and I followed it a lot with a lot of tactics. “Then I became too inquisitive‚ when I saw Mourinho lift trophies‚ I said I think I want that.”