Mamelodi Sundowns chairman yearning for repeat of 2016 CAF heroics

Mamelodi Sundowns chairman yearning for repeat of 2016 CAF heroics

Mamelodi Sundowns chairman Tlhopane Motsepe is yearning for a repeat of the club’s 2016 CAF Champions League heroics now that they are in this season’s semifinal round.

The Brazilians were crowned champions seven years ago, when they beat Egyptian giants Zamalek 3-1 over two legs, under then-coach Pitso Mosimane. 

Current head coach Rulani Mokwena was his assistant at the time, and Motsepe is confident he too can go all the way.

"We believe in the team, we believe in the vision of our president [Patrice Motsepe], and it's what has been put forward from the moment he stepped into his role," said Motsepe.

"As club president, he wanted to win the Champions League and in 2016, Hlompho Kekana and the likes managed to do that, and it was a wonderful moment for our club.

"Since we've tasted continental glory before, every single year we've tried to make sure that it's something we can replicate.

"And so, this season we're just incredibly proud of where the boys have taken us so far – you can see the ambition, but also just the focus and desire to better than they've done before. So, it's something that we're quietly hopeful for."

Sundowns will face defending champions Wydad Casablanca of Morocco over two legs in the semifinals this month – a fixture Motsepe insists they cannot merely expect to win. 

"No, you never expect anything in this game of football. You have to be humble, you have to work hard, and then you create your opportunities," he added.

"And when the chance comes – when preparation meets hard work, then you stand the best chance of achieving what you want, but we don't expect. We work hard and then we create the opportunity to seize the glory."

Sundowns will travel to Casablanca for the first leg on Saturday, 13 May, before hosting the return leg a week later in Tshwane.

All fixtures will be broadcast LIVE on, with kick-off times to be confirmed.

By Mazola Molefe & Kate Nokwe