Pitso Mosimane inspired by Leicester City ahead of Club World Cup

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Pitso Mosimane

- Yasmine El Tohamy - Al Ahly manager Pitso Mosimane says ”anything is possible” ahead of the Reds’ opening game in Club World Cup against Qatari side Al Duhail.

The Red Devils find hope in progressing in the competition for the first time in seven years.

They had finally won their first CAF Champions League title since 2013 back in November 2020, which gave them the chance to represent the continent in the FIFA Club World Cup.

Mosimane, who is in just four months managed to lead the club to the treble, is quite optimistic before their first minutes in the continental contest.

In an interview with BBC Sport, the South African said he is inspired by unlikely 2016 Premier League champions Leicester City as he heads to Qatar.

‘’The level is the highest that it could possibly be and it’s very difficult to win, but what’s important is to go there and play to the best of our abilities,” Pitso said.

“[We want] everyone to see that we’ve done the best against the best teams in the world so there’s nothing bigger for me and Al Ahly.

“Any coach that goes to any tournament believes that he can win it, but the reality is how do you beat Bayern Munich – who have just defeated the mighty Barcelona 8-2 on aggregate with Lionel Messi on the pitch?

“But anything is possible – Leicester City has shown you that anything is possible.”

The so-called African Pep Guardiola came after an incredible eight-year spell with local team Mamelodi Sundowns, lifting 11 trophies amongst one CAF Champions league medal in 2016.

Meaning he was in similar shoes previously, the 58-year-old had reached the Club World Cup only to be knocked out in the quarter-final and finish fifth.

Only 30% of the attendance will be allowed due to COVID-19 restrictions —definitely a big loss to the atmosphere considering the occasion and location.

“There are a lot of Egyptians living here, which was obvious from the way we were welcomed at the airport by our fans wearing the red jerseys and cheering our club,” he told BBC Sport Africa.

Photo: Al Ahly SC

“It made our players look into how they make these people happy. I believe if it was in normal circumstances, the stadium would have been full with Al Ahly supporters, so it’s a pity, but we have to comply with the regulations in this extraordinary time.”

“The focus is to win the first game and then take it from there I don’t think anyone is looking at anything else. We are playing against a very good team – they have got 5 or 6 international players – so we have to take it step-by-step.”

A win on Thursday night would mean that the Egyptian Champions would face Europe’s elite in Bayern Munich on the 8th of February.

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