Pitso Mosimane has spoken for the first time since he resigned from his job as the head coach of Egyptian soccer giants Al Ahly.
On Monday, the celebrated SA-born coach asked club bosses to release him from his contract, three months after signing a new deal.
Though his resignation was sudden and unexpected, pressure had been piling up on Mosimane since Al Ahly lost the CAF Champions League final against Wydad Casablanca of Morocco in May.
Al Ahly legends and former players, who have been calling for Mosimane to be fired, have been vocal about him not being good enough to coach the Egyptian giants.
The former Bafana Bafana coach left the club with his technical team made up of Kabelo Rangoaga, Musi Matlaba and Kyle Solomons, who he recruited when he took over at Al Ahly in October 2020. The CAF Club of the Century won five trophies under the guidance of Mosimane and his technical team.
In an emotional farewell message to the club bosses and its supporters, Mosimane wrote:
As you know, there have been meetings between myself, the board led by president Mahmoud El Khatib, Mr Yassin Mansour, the board members and planning committee members in recent days. We have reached a mutual agreement to part ways.
Therefore, I am sad to announce that I, together with my technical team – Kabelo Rangoaga, Musi Matlaba and Kyle Solomon will be leaving Al Ahly SC with immediate effect.
The journey that will always remain in our hearts started in October 2020. The warmth and love we were welcomed with made us feel already at home. Although we felt the pressure as we were joining the Club of the Century, we knew that we were sent to Cairo for a reason. That reason was to deliver.
Our first mission was to complete the job of obtaining the CAF Champions League title. With little time and pressure, we, together with the rest of the team, fulfilled the mandate and caught the big fish in the Nile River. We delivered. We were then mandated to bring the Egypt Cup back home and with a strong team. Mandate was fulfilled.
The journey continued and saw us being placed on a world stage at the Fifa Club World Cup. We anaylsed, prepared, trained, and worked tirelessly to prove that we indeed can face the world’s best.
The red nation in Doha received us with songs and cheers that made us feel empowered. A bronze medal was obtained and on the world stage, we delivered. We sealed off the 2020 season with the CAF Super Cup champions title and once again, we delivered.
The 2021 season would be our first full season with the Club of the Century. With the overwhelming support and love from the board led by president Mahmoud El Khatib and the red nation, a few months later we conquered and brought back the CAF Champions League trophy to our cabinet.
Our journey met a bump on the road when we missed out on the league title and the Egyptian Super Cup in September 2021, but we soared on with the support of our fans. The CAF Super Cup 2021 was waiting for us in December 2021 and we heard its call. We delivered.
The new year started with league games and CAF Champions League group stage games. However, we had another task at hand, to improve our place at the Fifa Club World Cup. We put our suits on and set off to Abu Dhabi to represent our continent. With great challenge, we maintained our third-place title. And once again, we delivered.
The remainder of the CAF Champions League tournament proved to be very challenging, and although we encountered some bruises and scabs along the way, we worked our way into the finals. Although the mandate was not fulfilled, our supporters made us feel like champions. We were down, but they uplifted our spirits and delivered.
A common theme throughout our journey was challenging the status quo and placing our team amongst the world’s best. For the first time in Al Ahly history, the team was led to the CAF Champions League final three times in a row by a sub-Saharan African technical team. This team delivered all of these victories within a period of 20 months.
I would like to thank Captain Bebo immensely for placing his trust and belief in me and my South African technical team. His patience, cooperation, leadership, and humility made my job much easier and allowed me to ensure that his desires are fulfilled.
Being the coach of the biggest club on the continent has been a dream of mine that has come true, and I will forever be grateful.
To the board, the management and the players, thank you for trusting my instincts and bringing my wishes to life. Without you, none of these would have been possible. To the red nation, the 70-million Al Ahly fans that have stood by me throughout this journey, you have truly inspired me.
I have never felt so loved and valued so far away from home. Your passion for football is something I will take with me wherever I go and use it for my inspiration. Shukran.
I am truly humbled and hope we cross paths again and reunite Inshallah.
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