Pitso Mosimane admits he created a monster in Mamelodi Sundowns during his eight-year reign before flying north to coach Egyptian giants Al Ahly last October. The man nicknamed the 'Pep Guardiola of Africa' made the remarks ahead of his reunion with the South African club in Cairo in the first leg of the Caf Champions League quarterfinals today.
"Sundowns is a good team, I created a monster and it's coming to bite me but it's okay that's football," Mosimane told Egyptian broadcaster OnTime Sports.
He won 11 different titles including five league honours at the Pretoria-based club between 2012-2020.
The core of Sundowns, including former Uganda Cranes goalkeeper Denis Onyango, skipper Hlompho Kekana, Sibusiso Vilakazi and Themba Zwane among others were built by Mosimane.
"I saw Pep [Guardiola] playing against Barcelona when he was at Bayern and he lost to Barcelona. I hope I don't lose to Sundowns," he said.
Even if Mosimane won the Egyptian Cup and a record ninth Caf Champions League in quick succession upon joining Al Ahly, his six-month tenure has already come under scrutiny.
There have been rumours indicating he could be sacked following a string of recent unconvincing results, including the 1-all stalemate with arch-rivals and log leaders Zamalek in the Cairo derby on Monday.
Now the 56-year-old seeks to find redemption against a monster he bred. But his successors Manqoba Mngqithi and Rhulani Mokwena are bidding to capitalize on Ahly's poor form at Al-Salam Stadium.
Important to note; 2016 champions Sundowns have kept six clean sheets, four of them by Onyango, in their last seven outings in all competitions.
Whereas Group B winners Sundowns are on three-match winning streak, they have never beaten Al Ahly in Cairo.
They, however, defeated them 5-1 on aggregate to reach the 2019 semi-finals. Al Ahly avenged to win 3-1 on aggregate last year.
Meanwhile, Tanzanian giants Simba, who beat Al Ahly to Group A top spot, visit Kaizer Chiefs in Johannesburg with a bid to reach the semifinals for the first time in 47 years.
Bidding to become the first East African side to win this tournament, Simba's coach Didier Gomes has trust in Cranes' midfielder Taddeo Lwanga who produced four clean sheets in five of the group stage matches he featured.
Caf champions league today
Belouizdad vs. Espérance 7pm
Kaizer Chiefs vs. Simba 7pm
Al Ahly vs. Sundowns 10pm
Simba (TAZ): Reached semi-finals in 1974
Al Ahly (EGY): Record nine-time champions, title holders
Sundowns (RSA): Champions in 2016
CR Belouizdad (ALG): Debut appearance in the last eight
Wydad (MAR): Two-time champions, last in 2017
Kaizer Chiefs (RSA): Debut quarter finals appearance
Espererance (TUN): Four-time champions, latest in 2018-19
MC Alger (ALG): Champions in 1976