Cape Town - Hlompho Kekana says Mamelodi Sundowns players have made a lot of sacrifices for the club to become a force domestically as well as in Africa.
The Brazilians will play their final match of the 2017/18 Absa Premiership season this coming weekend, having already clinched the title with a game to spare.
While other clubs are set to go on the off-season break, Sundowns will continue with their CAF Champions League programme and also have a high-profile friendly match against Barcelona set for later this month (May 16).
"We have sacrificed a lot," Kekana told SuperSport TV.
"I remember when we played in the Democratic (Republic) of Congo, which was really the turning point of our continental football.
"We went there, and there was election saga and (we) had to hide ourselves. We also had to travel eight hours from one town to another by bus.
"At one stage the chef never arrived and we bought biscuits and peanuts to eat.
"I think that was actually our turning point. We did not take those conditions into our head to give up at the first time."
The Sundowns skipper said the painful experience helped them get used to the demands of playing continental football.
"We thought it’s possible after playing and winning against TP Mazembe, who at that time was the powerhouse of African football," Kekana continued.
"We thought if we can beat TP Mazembe, then we can beat your Al Ahly."
Sundowns got their 2018 Champions League group stage campaign off to a solid start over the weekend with a 1-1 draw against defending champions Wydad Casablanca of Morocco.