One of the most enduring love stories of the Premier Soccer League (PSL) era was sealed with a four-year extension on Thursday, as head coach Pitso Mosimane penned a new deal that will keep him at Mamelodi Sundowns until 2024.
"Jingles" drew lavish praise from club chairman Patrice Motsepe at the press announcement, even getting generously compared to Manchester United legendary former manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who won a slew of accolades in his 27 years at the helm of the "Red Devils".
The 55-year-old coach reciprocated lovingly, saying: "You stay where you are loved; simple."
"A crucial factor in me signing was also my relationship with the supporters," he added.
"They have made songs, banners, flags and t-shirts for me. It’s not easy to have that kind of love, so I am home here – I have built a legacy here."
Indeed, since Mosimane took over at "The Brazilians" in 2012, with the team on the brink of relegation trouble, his achievements have been unmatched.
After winning his first Absa Premiership title in the 2013/14 season, Sundowns have never finished lower than second on the log and have won it four times during Mosimane’s reign. Before the Covid-19 pandemic had the biggest say in the 2019/20 season, Downs were just four points behind log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, with a game in hand.
Not that he needed it but Mosimane had added incentive to take down Amakhosi from their perch: the chance to win Sundowns’ La Decima title, their 10th league trophy since the PSL began in 1996.
Another title would also take Mosimane past Gordon Igesund, Gavin Hunt and Ted Dumitru, the coaches with whom he is tied on four personal league titles.
That he won the CAF Champions League and CAF Super Cup – the first South African coach to grab the African double – put him in the pantheon of South African coaches.
But Mosimane and his charges will not rest until a second African star is annexed at the top of their bright yellow badge. Sundowns are only the second South African club to win the CAF Champions League after Orlando Pirates did it in 1995. Now the coach wants to go one better and add a second continental triumph.
"I’m pleased to confirm that I’ve signed a four-year contract with the club I dearly love," said Mosimane.
"We are going to up the gears and challenge ourselves for the next four years to reach greater heights. We believe the sky is the limit and we can still do better.
"Thank you to the Masandawana fans, the 'yellow nation', who have supported me for the past seven-and-a-half years, through the good and the challenging times and please know that I don’t take the contract that’s been renewed for granted.
"We will not stop until we deliver the second star. To win the Champions League, it’s very difficult. We last won it in 2016, four years ago. We’ve gone out in the quarter-finals and the semi-finals (in recent seasons) but that means we need to do more."