- Mosimane has been out of a job since leaving Egypt’s Al Ahly
- He will be coaching outside Africa for the first time ever
- He is regarded as the most decorated coach in Africa
Reverred South African football coach Pitso Mosimane is heading to Saudi Arabia, after inking a deal with second tier side Al Ahli of Jeddah.
The club announced that they had reached an agreement with the tactician, who previously coached Egyptian giants Al Ahly, but left just within months of his new two-year contract. This is the first time ever that the 54-year old is coaching outside the continent.
“I am very excited for this opportunity and I can’t wait to meet my new team Al Ahli FC. Shukran to the Chairman, CEO, Board, players, & supporters for trusting us with this mission. We will do our best, recreate history & make the green nation happy,” Mosimane said in a statement on Twitter.
Al Ahli play in the second tier of the Saudi football hierarchy and are currently seventh in the standings with eight points after five matches. Mosimane’s task is already cut out as he will be tasked with helping the team attain promotion to the top tier.
Immediately after his announcement, social media was awash with congratulatory message for the trailblazing South African tactician.
Fans welcome coach Mosimane
“Welcome coach Pitso. We believe you will take us back to the Premier League,” one fan of the Saudi club tweeted, to which Mosimane replied “Insha’Allah”.
There had been rumors circulating on Mosimane’s next station after leaving Ahly and a potential return was already being sensationally mooted a few months back. Ahly have not been at their best since Mosimane’s departure, and it was sensationally claimed to be in talks for a return.
But now, the South African tactician who enjoyed massive success in Egypt will now settle down at his new work station.
He made his name coaching South Africa’s top tier side Mamelodi Sundowns where he led them to their first ever and only CAF Champions League title in 2016, and turned them into a dominant force in South African football.
It is this success with Sundowns that earned him rave reviews and Ahly decided to bank on him. While with the Red Devils of Cairo, he led them to back to back titles as well as back to back Champions League crowns.
Often criticized at Ahly
However, his tenure as coach of Ahly was always tough, as he was constantly in headwinds with a section of the club legends who always felt the club needed a European coach. He was constantly criticized despite winning titles and his squad selection became a point of war.
After his side lost last season’s Champions League final to Wydad Club Athletic, he announced his departure from the club, despite the fact that he had just signed a two-year contract extension.
The Ahly board said in a statement that they had not fired the coach but he had voluntarily decided to step away, mostly because of the harsh and unfair criticism he had faced during his time at the club.
And now, he will have everything to prove once again in a foreign land and h=if he manages to aid Saudi’s Ahli back into the top flight, then he will silence his critics.