Pitso Mosimane talks coming to Al Ahly, possibility of coaching in Europe

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Pitso Mosimane

- Yasmine El Tohamy - Al Ahly head coach, Pitso Mosimane, talked about the possibility of one day coaching a European team and his revolutionary move to coach a North African team.

Pitso was appointed by Al Ahly back in October and became the first non-Egyptian African to take charge of the Egyptian powerhouse.

Since then, he has lifted the CAF Champions League title after beating arch rivals Zamalek in the final as well as the Egypt Cup.

The South African is also set to lead the Red Devils in their fifth FIFA Club World Cup appearance.

READ: Escobar to officiate Al Ahly’s Club World Cup opener

Talking to CNN, Mosimane discussed his move to Cairo and how Al Ahly president Mahmoud El-Khatib took a risk by appointing him.

“It always looks impossible until somebody does it,” he said quoiting former South African president Nelson Mandela.

“Have you ever thought, in our time, that South Africa can have a Black president as Nelson Mandela? That is an amazing story.

Pitso Mosimane

“Can you believe that somebody from the township like me, from the background of apartheid, from the humble beginnings, can be the first person to win the Champions League in South Africa? And win it twice and become coach of the year on the continent,”

“He’s [El-Khatib] a legend … it’s like having Kenny Dalglish becoming president of Liverpool.

READ: Mosimane proud to work with Al Ahly president

“His head was on the block for appointing the first sub-Saharan coach to lead Al Ahly … Now, he’s proven right. We won the trophy and everything is good.

“I don’t want to dwell so much on why. But it has happened now. I’m the one. I’m the ‘Chosen One.’ And what brought me here was not a political movement.

“I was brought here because of the titles that I won because I’ve defeated Al Ahly twice and one of the top teams here in Zamalek. And they know me. They know my name … it has nothing to do with color or politics,” he added.

Mosimane then discussed how FIFA didn’t consider him for the manager of the year award, while discussing a possible move to Europe.

“FIFA must also consider coaches outside of European nominees because these are world awards,” he continued.

“Jesus, he’s the coach of Benfica now. He was the coach at Flamengo, he won lots of trophies and also deserved to be nominated. It’s not just about me. But it’s okay, we have to move on,”

“Our lives should not be about awards as coaches, we need to change people’s lives.

Pitso Mosimane

“Is this a possibility? Yes. We have to be realistic to say Europe doesn’t have a lot of African coaches.

“I don’t want to politicize this and make it a case of playing the race card, but some things need to be told as they are.

“But I just believe that a medical doctor who is from South Africa, is the same medical doctor who is in Europe.

“I believe an architect who has qualified in South Africa, is an architect in Europe. So I just don’t understand when it comes to football coaching, why these things get looked at differently.

Pitso

“I mean, you cannot tell me all these big players, African players, who won the Champions League in Europe, who are living there and none of those Africans can have an opportunity to coach.

READ: Greisha to officiate Mamelodi Sundowns Champions League opener

“Maybe in our children’s generation, things can change. Things do change … But first, Europe must accept and give chances to the European-born Africans, before we can talk about getting a chance … so it’s a long way,” he explained.

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