Absa Premiership

Sundowns, TP Mazembe seek to further ambitions

2017-02-14 12:59
Patrice Motsepe (Supplied)
Patrice Motsepe (Supplied)

Cape Town - Who says money does not buy success - in life generally and in the competitive soccer market in particular?

CAF 2016 Champions League and Confederation Cup winners, the PSL's Mamelodi Sundowns and the DR Congo's TP Mazembe, have respectively gained the right to contest Saturday's prestigious African Super Cup Final at Atteridgeville's Lucas Moripe Stadium.

And it is of no small significance to note that these two clubs are in all likelihood the most affluent and ambitious on the continent right now - indicating that if cold cash alone does not ensure soccer supremacy, a considerable amount of this commodity does no harm in climbing up the soccer ladder.

So it is fair to surmise that the more than substantial financial contributions made personally and through their business connections by Sundowns billionaire owner and president, Patrice Motsepe, and TP Mazembe boss, Moise Katumbi Chapwe, to their club's success have certainly produced dividends.

At this time, it is TP Mazembe, named grandiosely Tout Puissant (The Almighty) by the group of monks who founded the club, who can claim they have taken their quest for internal and international recognition a good few notches further than Sundowns.

TP Mazembe, for example, have been crowned African Champions on five occasions against Sundowns' only one such triumph last year after reaching the final on one previous occasion.

TP Mazembe have also been Super Cup holders on three previous occasions, while the Brazilians, as Sundowns are known, will be striving for their first such anointment on Saturday night.

But it is internationally that TP Mazembe have  made their mark further afield by becoming the first and only African club to emerge as World Club Championship finalists in 2010, beating the champion clubs of central and South America before losing to Italy's Inter Milan in the final.

Sundowns' baptism last year in a confrontation that involves the champion clubs of the different continents was less than conspicuous, with defeats against Japanese and South Korean teams in their only two matches and an overall place of sixth among the seven teams.

As holders of the more important Champions League, Sundowns have been allocated home-ground advantage for the one-off clash on Saturday when they will, no doubt, be out to prove that "The Almighty" are nothing of the sort in African soccer.


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