Pitso Mosimane has officially confirmed his departure from Mamelodi Sundowns.
The news of Mosimane resigning from his post as head coach of the Brazilians emerged on Wednesday morning and came as a shock to the majority of football fans in the country.
This is because the 56-year-old recently signed a new four-year deal and enjoyed a successful season which saw him deliver a domestic treble to Chloorkop.
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In a statement released by Mosimane's agency on his behalf, the Kagiso-born mentor said he decided to leave the Tshwane giants after accepting an offer from an "international team".
The said international team Mosimane's statement refers to is understood to be Egyptian giants Al Ahly.
"It is with a sense of pain and sadness that I announce my departure from Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club. I have accepted an offer to join an international team," said Mosimane in the statement.
Mosimane, who spent almost eight years at Chloorkop, said he could never quit Sundowns or club president Patrice Motsepe, adding that he will carry the spirit of Sundowns wherever he goes.
"Mamelodi Sundowns has been my family for almost eight years. President Dr Patrice Motsepe has been like a father to me. He has been a mentor, a friend, a supporter and a confidante. I could never quit him or Mamelodi Sundowns," he added.
"I am only going away to carry the spirit of the Yellow Nation with me."
Furthermore, Mosimane admitted it wasn't easy leaving the club he achieved so much success with over the past seven-and-a-half years.
However, he is pleased that he leaves the club with Motsepe's blessings.
"After winning five league titles with Mamelodi Sundowns - the 10th for the club - how can a man ever find it easy to say goodbye to his home? How can I say goodbye to the family, the board, the supporters and the fans?" he continued.
"From the deepest of my heart, I am so grateful that the president has blessed my move. I did not expect less from a man who has been so good and generous to me. He is the kind of leader any family, company, team and indeed any country needs. I have been privileged to drink from his well of wisdom.
"My success is his success. Without him, I would not have achieved half of what I have. I leave this family knowing that our bond is unbreakable and hoping that with the passage of time, our paths would come together again. This is not a divorce. We shall remain bonded forever."
The former Bafana Bafana mentor sees his next move as a challenge that will push him out of his comfort zone, and he hopes Sundowns will use his departure as a fresh start.
"I am taking up this new challenge that will push me out of my comfort zone. I know Mamelodi Sundowns will use this as a fresh and new perspective," he revealed.
"While I had four years remaining in my contract, this offer is a huge opportunity for me that would not have come had I not had the privilege to be part of the team that led Mamelodi Sundowns in winning the Caf Champions League and reaching the Club World Cup finals.
"I am the first to admit that in this journey there were mistakes and hiccups, but there were more laughs, victories, success, and camaraderie. And this I take with me to my next destination – never to accentuate the challenges over the achievements.
"For all my shortcomings I apologise to the President and the Yellow Nation.
"I wish Mamelodi Sundowns all the success in defending the titles."