Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mamelodi Sundowns vs. Barcelona

Barcelona's season isn't over yet. They travel to Pretoria, South Africa for an international friendly against South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns tomorrow night.

“We have raised the bar and I am proud of my president (Patrice Motsepe) for inviting such a historical team to play here. They are bringing a full-strength team and that augurs well for our preparations for the Confederations Cup next month against TP Mazembe,” said Sundowns spokesman Alex Tshakoane.

“I urge local football fans to come and support this team because we are not doing this for us but for the whole country. With the 2010 coming here, it is about time that we all pull together to realise our ambition.”

Most people know a lot about Barcelona. Let's educate you on Mamelodi, from a press release

-- Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club originated from Marabastad, a cosmopolitan area North West of the Pretoria CBD.

The club was originally formed in the early 1960s by a group of youngsters, among them were Frank Motsepe, Roy Fischer, Ingle Singh and Bernard Hartze, to mention but a few, and it became an official football club in 1970.

The club was affiliated to the Federation Professional Soccer League in 1973 and the same year reached the finals of the Coca Cola Cup where they played against Berea United and lost 5-3.

In 1978, the Federation Professional Soccer League threw their weight behind the then National Professional Soccer League. This meant the end of the Federation Professional Soccer League and the subsequent relegation of Sundowns to the second division.

For five years ‘Downs battled to gain promotion and during that period the Sundowns management resolved to disband the club but instead were approached by the late Boy Mafa who bought the franchise for R2000.00, a transaction facilitated by then lawyer, Dikgang Moseneke. This resulted in the club relocating to Mamelodi in the early 1980s.

In 1984 South African Football was the first sport to become non-racial and the National Soccer League was formed incorporating the top clubs in the country.

Sundowns earned promotion to the NSL in 1985 but in their first season in top-flight soccer, they found the going difficult until Zola Mahobe came on board and appointed Ben Segale as their coach.

In 1988, the ownership of the club fell in the hands of Standard Bank, which repossessed the club from Mr. Zola Mahobe. The Twin Pharmaceutical Group, owned by the Krok brothers, then bought the club from Standard Bank.

Sundowns enjoyed a golden period of success in the late 90s that saw them pick up three consecutive PSL titles (the PSL replaced the NSL at the start of the 1996/97 season) from 1998 to 2000 as well as being Bob Save Super Bowl winners in 1998 and Rothmans Cup winners in 1999.

The club reached the final of the 2001 CAF Champions League, their best performance in continental competition, where they were defeated 4-1 on aggregate by Egyptian club Al Ahly.

In 2003, mining magnate Patrice Motsepe bought 51% shares in the club and in 2004 he took total control of the club by buying the remaining shares and thus became the sole owner and shareholder of the club.

Sundowns picked up their first piece of silverware for six years in May 2006 when co-coaches Miguel Gamondi and Neil Tovey oversaw Sundowns’ triumph in the PSL, the seventh league title in their history.

After a slow start to the current season, Gamondi and Tovey were relieved of their positions and Gordon Igesund took over as head coach. Under Igesund, Sundowns defended their title in emphatic style, running away with the trophy. They unfortunately failed to win the ‘double’ losing to `Ajax in the Absa final.

With Barcelona fielding a full-strength squad, this should be a fun one. Catch it if you can!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hm hm.. that's very interessting but frankly i have a hard time seeing it... wonder how others think about this..