Mamelodi Sundowns won’t obsess over Champions League – Rulani Mokwena

Mamelodi Sundowns won’t obsess over Champions League – Rulani Mokwena

Despite Mamelodi Sundowns being among the favourites to win the Caf Champions League title this season, coach Rulani Mokwena says it’s not an “obsession”.

The Brazilians will conclude their group stage campaign against Coton Sport at Loftus Stadium tomorrow night, having already qualified for the knockout phase of the continental competition.

Downs were winners in 2016, and there’s an expectation to repeat that feat this time around, although Mokwena is cautious.

"This is a message, I said to the players, the ambition to win Champions League is not an obsession, it is the same ambition that comes from a space where we want to win the league title for example. That's a dream and a dream that we hope sooner rather than later we can turn into a reality. The ambition to win the Nedbank Cup comes from the same space as the ambition to try and win the Champions League," he said.

Sundowns will finish top of their group, which also features record 10-time champions Al Ahly as well as Al Hilal should they beat Coton Sport, and the coach feels they are capable of going all the way.

"I've got to be the Sundowns coach and I've got to believe that we have the capacity for sure to win the Champions League. If I don't have the belief then I shouldn't coach Sundowns. We have very good players and we have players that have the ambition of being in that space," he added.

Downs will face stiff competition in the quarterfinals, and onwards, should they progress further in the tournament.

"You look at the quality of the teams that are in the quarterfinals already, teams like Raja (Casablanca) for example, who haven't won the Champions League since 1999 but these are teams that are many years older than us. Al Ahly, Wydad these teams have been trying to win the Champions League and competing and working towards that space for many decades," he concluded.