Pitso Mosimane facing a double redemption challenge

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Pitso Mosimane (Image courtesy from Pitso Mosimane's official Twitter account)
Pitso Mosimane (Image courtesy from Pitso Mosimane's official Twitter account)

It will, in the more obvious instance, be a challenge to guide Egypt's Al Ahly to more notable success than they have enjoyed in the five previous FIFA Club World Cup for which they have qualified when the latest such event takes place Qatar in February.

But, no doubt, coach Pitso Mosimane will be hoping in addition to complete a double redemption and wipe out the deflating memories of the only previous such event in which he has participated - the 2016 tournament in Japan when Mamelodi Sundowns finished joint bottom with New Zealand's Auckland City among the seven Continental champions from whom Real Madrid emerged as the champions.

The former Sundowns coach said at the time that Africa's representatives in the tournament had been brought back to earth in the comprehensive defeats in their only two games, an initial 2-0 loss against home club Kashima Antlers and a 4-1 drubbing from South Korea's Jeonbuk Hyundai.

Mosimane, it seems, did in fact learn a thing or two from that experience, having guided Sundowns to three successful PSL Championships in the past three seasons - and establishing a South African record for a coach by accumulating five such honours, among a number of other notable achievements.

Now, it seems fair to say, Mosimane will be facing the most daunting and challenging test of his distinguished career with the Al Ahly club who on one occasion managed a third place in the World Club Championships, but in other appearances have made only a modest impact in the event yet to be won by a team from the African continent.

If Al Ahly, currently rated in 38th place in the world among teams on the planet - Sundowns are currently in a less than flattering 182nd position - can as much as reach the final in Qatar, with Bayern Munich's European champions and the South American title holders in the opposition, it would indeed  be a feather in the cap of Mosimane.

Some see it as an opportunity not only to complete a double redemption, but even strive for the most universally acclaimed honour of his entire soccer career.

But should Al Ahly not make a major impact and, at the same time, enhance the reputation of African teams in comparison to others around the globe, Mosimane could find himself requiring a three-times redemption when there is another potential World Club Championship on the menu later next year.

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