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Mamelodi Sundowns

Rulani’s Challenge To Chiefs, Pirates: We Need Stronger Rivals

Mamelodi Sundowns co-coach Rulani Mokwena has laid down a challenge to Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates to move past their history to become better rivals to the dominating Brazilians.

Mamelodi Sundowns have for the last six years or so, created a gauge between themselves and the rest of the teams, including Chiefs and Pirates, on the domestic scene.

Wednesday saw Sundowns secure their fifth consecutive league title and 16th overall trophy since the 2014/15 season, while the same could not be said for the perennial giants of South African football.

When asked about the gap between Sundowns and the rest of the chasing pack, Mokwena has urged opposing clubs to become better rivals and let go of history in order to mount a better challenge to Sundowns. 

“The reality is for the betterment of South African football, we need stronger rivals and that is 100% correct. But whether or not that is something that I’ve thought about – no. Fortunately it is not my responsibility,” he told journalists at the club’s  Nedbank Cup media day.

Mokwena added that even when he left Sundowns to take up a stint with Pirates, he got an outsider’s view of just how difficult it is to compete with the side from Chloorkop.

“It’s a difficult thing to try and compete with Sundowns and I know that because I was here, and I left to the other side, and we did our level best to compete with Sundowns for the time that I was there but the reality is that you need a little bit more than will power and desire and maybe more than history.

“At the end of the day, part to everyday success is not the past in isolation, although it can help in relation to giving you motivation to get to higher levels, because the past dictates where you got and that should only be what history is good for.

“But in football they always say the next game is the most important and your current success speaks more than history and I think in a certain way as a generation, we tend to live too much in history.

“A good sparring partner always helps the champion,” he added.

Sundowns are on course for a domestic treble this season as they look to add the Nedbank Cup to the DStv Premiership title and the MTN8 trophy that they have won this season.

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