‘I’ve lost friends and missed family anniversaries because of football’ – Pitso Mosimane

Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane at his home in Johannesburg. The champion coach speaks about his job, life in football and thoughts about his image dominating memes on Twitter (instert). 

Image: Thulani Mbele

After five seasons with Mamelodi Sundowns, Pitso Mosimane has delivered two PSL titles, four cups and a CAF crown; on course for a 3rd title. Gomolemo Motshwane chats with the coach about life on and off the pitch.

Who would you say is a close friend of yours in football?

Mike Ntombela is close to me.

Which game still haunts, even to this day?

Bafana Bafana versus Sierra Leone at the Mbombela Stadium. [In that tie, SA failed to qualify for the 2012 Afcon after celebrating the draw against Sierra Leone, thinking it was enough to advance].

What time do you sleep and wake up?

I’m unpredictable but I sleep at 2am and up at maybe 7.15am. On one of the other days I try to get more rest.

Do you know that you are the champion of memes on social media?

I don’t even know what a meme is. Really? You say it’s on Twitter? Ok, I will check it [laughs].

Who are the coaches who have taught you the most?

I had Roy Matthews who taught me a lot at Cosmos. Another who opened my eyes was my former Greek coach Nikos Alefantos at Ionikos. He was very intelligent, old fashioned. Carlos Alberto Parreira I must also give credit, he showed me lots of stuff.

Would you ever coach a national team again?

You never know, maybe when I’m older. At the moment I am happy where I am. The work load can be heavier at a club but sometimes you like the action.

Where is the most hostile place on the continent?

North Africa, you have pitch invasions and they are not friendly. But the one that takes the cake is Lubumbashi, the homeground of TP Mazembe. There is nothing like it.

Tell us about some of the sacrifices you have made in football?

You miss birthday parties of the kids; you miss anniversaries with the wife. I have lost so many good friends. I have lost genuine good people that I can’t even go back to due to commitment. When friends come [and] visit me, I can’t visit back you know.

What would winning your third Premiership title mean to you?

It would mean that the hard work has paid off and we have done our job. Sundowns is a big club, our fans expect titles.