Al Ahly president Mahmoud El-Khatib has explained why Pitso Mosimane was appointed ahead of other candidates following René Weiler's sudden departure last year.
Mosimane was appointed as Al Ahly's head coach in September 2020 after predecessor René Weiler resigned from his position for family reasons, having already secured the league title and a spot in the CAF Champions League semi-finals.
With major continental obligations on the horizon, the Team of the Century had to act quick to find a replacement and duly lured the esteemed Mosimane away from DStv Premiership giants Mamelodi Sundowns.
"Weiler was a good coach, but he left for family reasons, his family wanted him to stay with them, so he had to make that choice," El-Khatib told ONTime Sports h/t KingFut.
"Before Weiler’s last trip to visit his family, I told him we had to renew his contract before a certain date or we will have to part ways. I was worried because we were at a difficult stage in the CAF Champions League.
"Rodolfo Arruabarrena was the major candidate before Mosimane, but we wanted to look for someone who knows more about African football, someone who already has experience in the CAF Champions League.
"Mosimane’s name was suggested by Mohsen Saleh and Zakaria Nasef, and when we saw his CV and his achievements, the committee agreed on choosing him.
"When we were on the plane before Sundowns’ away game in 2020, I spoke to Pitso on the plane, and I felt that he loved Al Ahly, even before joining the team."
Mosimane has since won 51 of his 71 matches in charge since assuming the reins at Al Ahly, and boasts two Champions League winners' medals as well as the Egyptian Cup and CAF Super Cup trophies to his record.
Al Ahly's Percy Tau is one of 20 SA players currently playing abroad. See the full list in the gallery below