CAF CL: Big budgets, private jets separating Sundowns and North African Teams

By Peter Tabu
Football 256 news
Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane believes he has figured out the difference between clubs in the Magreb and those south of the Sahara / Courtesy Photo

Mamelodi Sundowns are arguably the biggest spenders in African football, to their coach Pitso Mosimane, Masandawa don’t come close to North African sides like Al Ahly‚ Wydad‚ Esperance‚ Raja Casablanca‚ Zamalek and Étoile du Sahel.

And that the reason, sides of the Maghreb have dominated the CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup in recent years.

Sundowns which is home to Uganda Cranes skipper Denis Onyango were knocked out by 2017 CAF Champions League winners Waydad Casablanca, 2-1 on aggregate after a barren draw on Saturday in South Africa.

Mosimane refused to drop his head after the defeat and said they are starting to figure out the Maghreb nations.

“We understand how to play with the North Africans but we are yet to conquer them,” Pitso stated after the goalless draw with Wydad on Saturday in Pretoria.

“We are the only team in Sub-Saharan Africa‚ with the exception of TP Mazembe‚ that has figured them out.”

The outspoken Sundowns coach stated that the dominance comes with the teams having budgets 10 times bigger, using of private Jets and also bringing players back from Europe and paying them huge salaries.

“They operate at budgets ten times bigger than those of us‚ they get players back from Europe‚ they don’t just get any coach and they fly private jets,” Mosimane said.

“They are even louder to be honest. They pay different salaries‚ they are just at another level and they have been doing this thing for many years,” he stated.

In December 2018, Egyptian international Ramadan Sobhi returned to Al Ahly from Huddersfield in England on loan for £800,000 after failing to break through. He made only 4 appearances while in England.

Like Sobhi, several players have returned to play at home in such circumstances but it comes at a cost.

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