S'Busiso Mseleku

All hail Mamelodi Sundowns

2016-11-29 15:18
S’Busiso Mseleku (File)

There seem to be no stopping Mamelodi Sundowns.

They are actually dispelling the South African myth that players tire after playing around 40 matches in a season.

For a long time now, some of us have been asking how the likes of Lionel Messi of Barcelona and Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid as well as their peers who play for top clubs in Europe, can play about 60 matches a season, but we never hear of them being fatigued.

Those players play week in and week out in their domestic league, domestic cup matches, the Champions League as well as represent their countries in official and international friendly matches.

Here, the Premier Soccer League (PSL) first cut the league down from 18 clubs (to 16) and then went on to drop some cup competitions from the domestic programme, just to limit the number of matches played in a season and avoid players getting fatigued.

But Sundowns are showing the way and week in and week out, keep on disproving this myth about players getting tired easily.

The Brazilians have been going on for months now, first juggling domestic league and cup matches with CAF Champions League games and now with “operation catch-up”.

But they don’t seem to be letting up.

Just this past Sunday, Sundowns taught Highlands Park a football lesson, walloping their hapless opponents 5-0. What’s more, they hardly got out of first gear. They have been playing the best football by a South African club this season.

To top it, they won the Team of the Year Award at the SA Sports Awards Gala dinner in Bloemfontein on Sunday evening. Sundowns together with their coach Pitso Mosimane were the only football representatives at the awards that were spread over 15 categories.

The fact that football - the biggest sport not only in this country but the world - had only two representatives out of 48 should be a concern for the South African football administrators.

That football has no player good enough to contest for the Sportsman of the Year Award or Sportswoman of the Year Award, nor an administrator to be rated as Administrator of the Year, is an indication that South African football is in a bad state.

That we as a country of over 50 million people do not have football players who are head and shoulders above their peers from other sports, shows that our football lacks dedicated and passionate servants.

We cannot rely on Sundowns alone to keep the South African flag flying high.

Just this week, Sundowns will be playing another league match as part of their catch-up programme before jetting off to  Japan to represent South Africa and the rest of the continent at the FIFA Club World Cup.

There they will rub shoulders with the likes of Real Madrid.

Patrice Motsepe and his Sundowns have shown the way. It is high time that other club bosses, PSL and the South African Football Association administrators woke up and smelled the coffee.

S'Busiso Mseleku is regarded as one of Africa's leading sports journalists and an authority on football. He has received some of the biggest awards in a career spanning over 30 years. He is currently City Press Sports Editor.

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The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

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