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Award-winning coach backed by Austin Okocha for Super Eagles job is ready for national team challenge

Award-winning coach backed by Austin Okocha for Super Eagles job is ready for national team challenge

Award-winning South African coach Pitso Mosimane is inclined towards managing a national team as he is currently not in discussions with any Premier Soccer League clubs, Soccernet.ng reports.

Moira Tlhagale, Mosimane’s representative and managing director of MT Sports, affirmed this stance, according to the Sunday World.

Mosimane is presently fulfilling a short-term four-month contract with Saudi Pro League outfit Abha FC, with the mandate to help the club avoid relegation for the team by season’s end.

However, Tlhagale has asserted that the former Mamelodi Sundowns manager is not in talks with any South African clubs and would prioritise working with a national team when he leaves Saudi Arabia.

“Locally, no, we are not in talks with any club. I will tell you definitely the next move that the coach and his entire technical team would like to do. It is a national team project,” Tlhagale revealed.

Mosimane’s interest

This statement takes more significance considering that Mosimane’s name had previously surfaced in connection with handling the Nigeria national team.

Before the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, where Nigeria finished as runners-up, the former Al Ahly manager expressed his desire to help the Super Eagles qualify for the 2026 World Cup at the expense of South Africa.

“To be honest, I would like to coach in the World Cup,” Mosimane said. “I do not choose what comes; I would like to go to the World Cup. South Africa wants to qualify, and Nigeria wants to qualify.

“If you have (Samuel) Chukuweze and the boy (Victor Osimhen) playing for Napoli as your striker, I mean really. That Nigerian team is unbelievable.

“I saw the draw against Lesotho and Zimbabwe. Okay, it’s football, it happens. But how can politics between the government and the federation derail the team?

“Of course, I want South Africa to win because I am South African. But in reality, I think Nigeria has the team, man.

“I really would like to go to the World Cup, but it must be a good team that can compete.”

Mosimane has Okocha’s backing

While many Nigerians have been clamouring for the Nigeria Football Federation to hire one of the indigenous coaches jostling for the job, former Super Eagles captain Austin Jay-Jay Okocha was one of the few who voiced his support for Mosimane.

Expressing enthusiasm at the prospect of the esteemed coach guiding the Super Eagles, Nigeria football icon Okocha said:

“Of course, he is someone that can coach the Nigeria national team. I think Pitso, without any doubt, is one of the best African coaches.

“His track record is there for everyone to see, and if we can get a coach like that, he will add -value to our football.”

Mosimane’s track record

Mosimane enjoyed a decent career that saw him play for Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns, win the second-division title in Greece, and earn four caps for South Africa’s national team.

After retiring, he took to coaching and quickly won titles with Supersport United before stepping into the big time with Mamelodi Sundowns.

During his memorable eight-year spell with The Brazilians, Mosimane lifted the Premier Soccer League five times, the CAF Champions League in 2016, and the CAF Super Cup the following year.

Pitso Mosimane
Pitso Mosimane

The 59-year-old tactician joined Egyptian giants Al Ahly in 2020 and led them to two Champions League titles.

He also won the Saudi First Division League with Al-Ahli last year to seal his legacy as one of the longest-serving and most decorated coaches in all of South African football.

Mosimane was the coach of South Africa between 2010 and 2012, leading the Bafana Bafana to six victories, eight draws, and three losses in 17 games.

Among the numerous awards Mosimane has bagged, the most prestigious include being named the PSL Coach of the Season five times and the CAF Coach of the Year in 2016.

NB: Would you want award-winning Pitso Mosimane to be the next Super Eagles coach? Leave your comments below. 

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