Former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane explained why he feels sorry for Gaston Sirino after the player was unable to make a move to Al Ahly.
Mosimane wanted to sign the Uruguayan attacker for the Egyptian giants, but Sundowns were playing hardball and discussions were terminated last month because the two clubs could not reach an agreement on the transfer fee.
Mosimane has admitted that he has moved on since but said he feels sorry for the player and explained why.
“We move on with Gaston Sirino. You’ve seen what he has said. He spoke openly about missing the opportunity to play for the biggest club on the continent. I understand. You must remember when I recruit, I recruit with a vision. When I recruited Sirino, I told him that ‘at your age, you are 26 and you have missed Europe’. So the chance was China, the Middle East and South Africa. At that point, South Africa was giving him the opportunity. I told him if he does well in the Champions League, the Club World Cup, then the Middle East will see him. We all know the financial remunerations that are happening in football,” Mosimane said in a Zoom press conference held with SAFJA.
“That was the only path for Gaston to move up. As I said, from South America, you go to the Middle East, China or South Africa. You can’t go to Zimbabwe or Zambia, let’s be honest. That’s the way to go, especially when you are over 25. But back home, that education still needs to be there, even for coaches. Once you pass 25 and you still good, you need to make sure the contracts are right because you are only left with years. Unfortunately, Gaston is 29 now. I understand how he was feeling to say ‘hey, I’ve got a chance to make a little bit more for my family and for myself because it might be my last contract’.
“Players have 40 or 50 years to live after football. Ask me. Life after football is longer, so you’ve got to make as much as you can to sustain you because you’ve got 50 to 60 years to live. It’s a very difficult case. Sometimes players are going to lose out on opportunities and then at the end of the day we are going to say ‘look at this guy, he is bankrupted’. Gaston had a chance and he is crying for that chance, I know that for sure.”