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Sundowns extend contract of South African 'Fergie' in mega deal

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane (L) celebrates winning the 2016 CAF Champions League
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane (L) celebrates winning the 2016 CAF Champions League AFP
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Johannesburg (AFP)

Former African champions Mamelodi Sundowns have extended the contract of coach Pitso Mosimane, who is commonly referred to as the 'Sir Alex Ferguson' of South Africa.

While no salary was disclosed for the four-year deal, club owner Patrice Motsepe said it would make the former national team forward one of the best paid coaches across the continent.

"I had to visit the bank manager and request an overdraft extension," joked mining magnate Motsepe, a billionaire who is among the five richest South Africans.

African coaches rarely disclose salaries but Morocco declared Bosnian Vahid Halilhodzic earns $89,000 (82,000 euros) a month, and former Ghana boss Kwesi Appiah was paid $35,000.

"He is our very own Sir Alex Ferguson," added the Sundowns president, referring to the hugely successful former Manchester United manager.

"Every cent we spend on Pitso is well worth it," Motsepe said about the only South African coach to win the CAF Champions League, the elite African club competition.

In 2016, Pretoria based Sundowns defeated five-time champions Zamalek of Egypt 3-1 on aggregate to lift the trophy for the first time.

"I appreciate the trust and faith the president (Motsepe) has in me and my goal is to build a team that will conquer Africa again," said Mosimane.

Sundowns were eliminated in the quarter-finals of the 2019/2020 Champions League, losing 3-1 overall to record eight-time winners Al Ahly of Egypt.

Known as the 'Brazilians' because they favour a similar possession-based style to that of the South Americans, Sundowns have excelled in domestic competitions under Mosimane.

The 55-year-old has guided the club to four league titles in six campaigns and were second when the 2019/2020 season was suspended two months ago due to the coronavirus pandemic.

They have also lifted the FA Cup once and League Cup twice, leaving the early-season MTN8 as the only South African knockout competition that has eluded Mosimane.

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