The former Brazilians coach took over from Rene Weiler who had won the Egyptian Premier League title and is in contention for a continental title
Former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane is fully aware of what he got himself into by accepting the Al Ahly coaching job, and is ready for the huge responsibilities at the eight-time African champions.
Mosimane was appointed Al Ahly coach last week and immediately began work on Friday ahead of his first Egyptian Premier League match against Al Mokawloon on Sunday.
He arrived in Cairo to take over from Swiss tactician Rene Weiler who had already won the current league campaign and remained in contention for a first Caf Champions League title since 2013.
“I’m humbled to be here. I was listening to [Head of Football Planning Mohsen] Saleh about my CV and why they chose me to be the coach of Ahly amongst all the big names from all the parts of the world,” Mosimane told the media.
“That is why I’m not taking for granted where I am – I know where I am, and I know the responsibilities of my work here.
“I know the pressures and the stresses, because it’s not the first time I’m in Egypt – I’ve seen the pressures of playing Caf Champions League against Zamalek and Al Ahly.”
With the Cairene giants 15 points on top of the Egyptian Premier League table, pressure on Mosimane is to maintain or widen that gap, but the biggest task is winning the Caf Champions League as Al Ahly prepare to take on Wydad Casablanca in the semi-finals later this month.
“I know the pressures of seeing captain Sayed [Abdel Hafeez] on the other side,” Mosimane continued. “I remember him as from the national team of Egypt and interacting with him when I was coach of Bafana Bafana.
“I know the expectations, but I am a football coach and I am paid to deal with the pressure,” he continued. “Pressure is everywhere at big clubs.”
While at Sundowns, Mosimane faced Al Ahly four times, and the memorable result of those meetings was Downs’ 5-0 win in the first leg of last season’s Champions League quarter-finals.
Ahly are the most successful side in the history of the Champions League, but are without success in the competition since defeated Orlando Pirates in the 2013 final.