In what was effectively a quarter-final match at the FIFA Club World Cup, Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly recently claimed a 1-0 win over Monterrey thanks to a 53rd minute winner from Mohamed Hany, and they will now come up against Brazilian giants Palmeiras for a place in the final.
Pitso Mosimane’s Al Ahly were without a host of first-choice players due to their participation with the Egyptian national side in the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) final. In total, Al Ahly were without 11 players for their opener – including injured stars such as Percy Tau.
As Mosimane and Al Ahly prepare for the next stage of their campaign, the popular coach has opened up about the words of encouragement received from former Brazil and Bafana Bafana boss Carlos Parreira.
“Parreira sent me a message, congratulating me – I’m humbled,” Mosimane told iDiski Times.
“We’re talking about the guy who’s won the World Cup, I mean what a big coach. For me to be mentioned by big names like Carlos Parreira, who was coaching Romario, Ronaldo Phenomenon – just mention all these big stars, Dunga and all them.
“He was also with Pele, you must know that because I know all the stories about Brazil because of getting them from Parreira. But look I’m humbled because he gave me a break in my life. I learned a lot from him, some of how I still play is the way he taught me.
“But when I said to him for the talk he said ‘no, no’, you know Parreira is always a humble man and he’s big, he doesn’t have to prove that he’s big – I mean how many World Cup’s has he won? But he said I always knew you would do it – that’s why I had you as my assistant all the time.
“I’m humbled, to be honest, I’ve worked with all these big coaches in the world and I’ve learnt a lot, I’ve come far in football, maybe some coaches don’t know me. I’ve come far, I’ve learnt a lot working with big coaches.”
After the final whistle in the win over Monterrey, the Egyptian club’s supporters remained behind and chanted Mosimane’s name in appreciation of his tactical masterclass that saw the team claim victory despite being considerably under-strength.