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Rulani Mokwena explains why he dislikes being glorified

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Rulani Mokwena has explained why he doesn’t want to be glorified despite his team’s recent successes, stating that “I prefer criticisms and hateness”.

The Tshwane giants’ recent form suggests that they could be in contention for another successful season, potentially etching their name further into the PSL history books.

With Mokwena at the wheel, Sundowns have been dishing out some quality football, playing more attractively. They have proven to be a resolute and unshakable force both domestically and on the continent, recently.

Sundowns won the CAF Champions League in 2016 under the guidance of coach Pitso Mosimane and went on to lift the DStv Premiership titles six times in a row. In addition, they became one of the most feared teams in Africa.

The reigning champions of the 2023 first ever African Football League [AFL], currently hold a commanding lead in the Premiership table. They sit atop the standings with an 11-point advantage over both Cape Town City FC and SuperSport United, who are currently tied for second place.

Downs have already booked their Nedbank Cup Last 16 spot, meanwhile progressed to the quarter-finals of the continental elite tournament, the CAFChampions League this season.

Mokwena’s troops’ success has not gone unnoticed as PSL coaches in AmaZulu mentor, Pablo Franco Martin, Stellenbosch FC tactician, Steve Barker, just to mention a few, have declared Mokwena’s side as the greatest team in the country.

Rulani Mokwena troops Mamelodi Sundowns
Mamelodi Sundowns

More so, TP Mazembe head coach, Lamine Ndiaye has acknowledged the quality of Sundowns and went as far as calling them the current “best” team on the African continent.

Rulani Mokwena on Dislike of Glorification

Interestingly, after Ndiaye’s remarks, Sundowns beat TP Mazembe 1-0 in the last group stage match of the CAF Champions League at the Lucas Moripe Stadium on Saturday.

With Sundowns displaying beautiful football, many coaches and experts have lavished praise on Mokwena’s and his troops’ work.

However, while appreciating the praise, the 37-year-old Mokwena said: “I get a bit worried, I’m not used to love and praise.

“I say to the players ‘be careful of praise’, it’s like being fed the honey with a knife and that’s where I look around once people start to praise me,” added Mokwena.

“I look around because before they kill you, they punch you, punch you and punch you… I’d rather have people who come straight and show that they hate me, or they hate the team, that’s much better.

“It’s much better because praise sometimes puts you in a sense where you believe too much in hype. So, I don’t listen too much to praise. I prefer criticisms and hateness. Being hated drives me; it makes me want to prove [a point].

“So, I don’t listen to that too much. But I appreciate it; I accept it with a lot of humanity. But I’m not too much to it because it’s dangerous, very, very dangerous.”

RELATED STORY: Rulani Mokwena compares Champions League & DStv Premiership levels

By Clifton Mabasa

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