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Mosimane on coaching in Europe: ‘Those are fairy tales’

Pisto Mosimane is an ambitious coach and a big dreamer, but the Al Ahly mentor has ruled out the possibility of working in a top European league.

There have been suggestions that Mosimane may do well in Europe following his exploits in Africa with Mamelodi Sundowns and Ahly.

Mosimane went from coaching an amateur club in Soweto to leading the biggest club on the continent to back-to-back Caf Champions League titles, Caf Super Cup and becoming the first African coach to win two consecutive Fifa Club World Cup bronze medals. In the process, Ahly also became the first African club to attain back-back World Cup medals.

But successful as he is, he has accepted that he may never get an opportunity to coach in Europe and the aspiration is so unachievable that the ex-Bafana Bafana coach believes it would be “a fairy-tale story” for a black African coach.

“So ke sharpo ka Europe, bafowethu (“I’m okay with Europe, my brothers”). Let me stay in the continent, and probably the Gulf, because at least our footprint is in the Gulf. We have to continue doing football, we don’t have to continue doing football in Europe,” said Mosimane during the SA Football Journalists’ Association (Safja) presser on Wednesday.

“Those are fairy-tale stories, my brother. That would never happen.”

The three-time Caf Champions League winner vividly remembers a conversation he had with Manchester United legend Dwight Yorke when they were analysts for SuperSport during the 2018 World Cup, highlighting the challenges black tacticians face in Europe.

“Dwight Yorke said to me, ‘Forget about Europe, you’re never going to go to Europe. If we [black players] have scored goals in the Champions League and have created so much history at big clubs like Man United, we have qualified for [coaching] badges from Europe, and we never get that… you will never get that’,” said Mosimane.

“In Europe, you had Tony Yeboah, Dwight Yorke, Andy Cole, John Barnes — big names. Where are they? None of them can coach? Asked Mosimane.

“That’s what Raheem Sterling was saying. He said, ‘We grew up watching these people as our heroes, playing in the EPL, but I’m yet to see one of our legends coaching a club, [even] in the first division, at least’. When Sterling said that, [for me] it confirmed Dwight Yorke’s story.”

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