Al Ahly head coach Pitso Mosimane has not ruled out the possibility of returning to manage Bafana Bafana in the future.
Mosimane was acrimoniously sacked by the South African Football Association (SAFA) for failing to qualify for the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations after the infamous 0-0 draw against Sierra Leone.
In a stint that lasted less than two years into his four-year contract with six wins, eight draws and three defeats in 17 games, Mosimane picked himself up for a remarkable career comeback over the last decade.
His eight-year stint with Mamelodi Sundowns yielded 11 major titles, including five league winning medals and the CAF Champions League which prompted the most successful club in Africa to headhunt his signature.
Now after leading the Red Devils to a 2019/20 treble, questions have been raised over whether he could ever be lured to return for a second stint to the 71st ranked nation currently managed by Molefi Ntseki.
"There's a phrase we have in South Africa: 'Once a Bafana, always a Bafana.' Yes, it is possible. When? I'm not sure," he told OTW podcast before leaving for Qatar.
"At this point in time, I'm busy with the biggest task of going to the [FIFA Club] World Cup, so I'm not thinking about that now. South Africa is always my country…I always carry my flag, I'm very patriotic."
View the gallery below to see the best ever Bafana coaches based on matches won
The two-time CAF Champions League-winning coach admitted there's plenty of rebuilding needed in order to restore the pride of the 1996 AFCON winners but cited the success of smaller nations in Europe shows what's possible.
"Look with the national team, there’s a lot of football work that needs to be done by the football federation. Lots of development of players needs to be done," Mosimane explained before offering a thought-provoking statement on the facilities the nation has at its disposal.
"Why are small countries like Holland and Croatia with [small] populations, why can they be that big in world and club football, and Belgium. Belgium are not that big and they are ranked as world number one with a small population, so it shows it’s not about population...it shows it's about programmes, so my country is lacking in that space.
"Everybody says that South Africa is better than Cameroon because we've got facilities and all that. That's true we've got facilities but sometimes you don’t have access to these facilities, you have them, but they don’t belong to you."
Mosimane will lead the Club of the Century in the semi-finals of the prestigious competition against European champions Bayern Munich this evening at the Al Rayyan Stadium (20h00).