Former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Hristo Stoitchkov loved his stay in South Africa
Posted: 31 March 2011 Time: 6:49 am
Former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Hristo Stoitchkov says that players at the Chloorkop-based side are still communicating with him, long after he departed the club in controversial circumstances in March last year.
The Bulgarian legend was speaking at the Soccerex European Convention in Manchester, England, where he is part of a Professional Football Against Hunger delegation that also includes the likes of Patrick Viera (Manchester City). The 1994 European Player of The Year said that he had a "very good relationship with my squad, you can tell from the way we played, and the results we were getting," he told KickOff.com through an interpreter. Without divulging any names, the FC Barcelona icon said that "South African football is not great, but is improving in leaps and bounds and I mention this every time I talk to the players who call me - some of them call me every week." Known for shooting from the hip, Stoitchkov will not be getting any calls from the top echelon at Sundowns any time soon, and he knows it. "I left under some rather uncomfortable circumstances...let me rather say I know that I will not be getting any calls from Patrice Motsepe (the President), Trott Moloto (Chief Scout) or Kenneth Makhanya (Chief Executive)." The man nicknamed 'The Dagger', however insisted that he had a "fantastic time in South Africa, and had one of the best squads I have ever managed in football - the players have a raw talent that has potential to go very far." Asked which particular players impressed him most, the Bulgarian legend quipped that 'Katlego Mphela, Teko Modise, Elias Pelembe, Siboniso Gaxa and Siphiwe Tshabalala are pure gems who can hold their own in any top European League.' Thapelo Moloantoa