Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane challenges African players to emulate Mohamed Aboutrika
Posted: 21 May 2018 Time: 09:30
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says players’ failure to move to Europe is not the end of the world if they can make their names known on the African continent.
It is an ambition of most African – and specifically South African – players to earn Pounds and Euros at the height of their careers, but that dream seldom becomes a reality.
While some would often be criticised for failing to earn that big move abroad, Mosimane has argued that there is still a way for local-based players to make their mark.
“We can talk about Europe and all that, but what are we talking about if we don’t mention players like Aboutrika and them? We all know about him,” said Mosimane.
“Which European team has he played for? And he left the game as a legend – he won the CAF Champions League so many times, he’s won the Africa Cup of Nations so many times, he’s played in FIFA Confederation Cup, and the world knows about Aboutrika.
“So, if you don’t go play in Europe, I always tell the players, but make your mark in Africa, like Denis Onyango and Khama Billiat – they’ve made their mark and are known in Africa.”
Mosimane further used Kaizer Chiefs and former Bafana Bafana winger Siphiwe Tshabalala as another example to have made his mark in African football despite not plying his trade in Europe.
“Siphiwe Tshabalala … Who doesn’t know ‘Shabba’? Even when we [Bafana] went to Brazil with Bafana Bafana in 2009/10, when we were training there, on the side they were calling Shabba, but he never played football in Europe. Who doesn’t know Shabba in Africa?
“So, if you don’t go to Europe, make your mark locally. So, that’s what I tell the players. It doesn’t matter if they go or not, as long as at Sundowns we look after them, they play their best football,” he concluded.