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Rulani – I Don’t Feel Appreciated Like Klopp

Mamelodi Sundowns head coach Rulani Mokwena has insisted he doesn’t feel as appreciated as Jurgen Klopp was at Liverpool.

Mokwena, 37, can look back at an incredible campaign with Masandawana, leading them to their seventh successive DStv Premiership – the second as sole head coach and the fourth since Pitso Mosimane left.

Sundowns also won the inaugural African Football League, where they eliminated Petro de Luanda and Al Ahly before beating Wydad Athletic Club in the final.

However, they were beaten by Saturday’s Nedbank Cup final opponents, Orlando Pirates in the MTN8 final, while also getting knocked out of the CAF Champions League by ES Tunis.

After losing their final DStv Premiership match 1-0 against Cape Town City to miss out on an ‘Invincibles’ league campaign, some suggested Mokwena could be under pressure if he also loses on Saturday, but he rebuffed this talk, albeit admitting he doesn’t feel the appreciation Klopp received at Liverpool.

“I would love to stay at Sundowns for eight, nine years and do a Pep [Guardiola], a [Jurgen] Klopp. I would love to, I love Sundowns. I love the club. I give my all for the club and for the supporters.

“But sometimes I say to myself, I don’t think it’s possible. I don’t think I will ever stay eight years, nine years like Pep anymore. Because the truth of the matter is, I’m going to have to go through one or two seasons without winning the Champions League.

“I’m going to go one, two seasons without winning the league. And I’m not sure what type of reaction I will get if I go a season without winning the Champions League? I mean Pep in eight years at Man City, nine years won the Champions League once. And there were seasons where he didn’t even win the Premier League. But he spent eight years, nine years.

“Klopp, has won the English Premier League once, the Champions League once, but he stayed eight years. And his parting shot was ‘I left and I felt appreciated from the beginning to the absolute end’.

“And sometimes I’m not so sure and I pray to God, we never get into that space where we go into a state where we don’t win anything. I doubt that would ever happen. But football being football, it is a possibility. And then I asked myself to say – the other day Shupi came to me and said ‘someone from the media said, coach Rulani is under pressure’.

“But no one can put pressure on me because I put pressure on myself. I put more pressure on myself than anybody else. So if I’m under pressure, what about the people that have 23 points behind us?

“If I’m under pressure with my job, what about the people who are 23 points behind us? Because I’ve heard this talk… But I don’t know what to [say], I really don’t know. What I do is, I wake up every day – in the 24 hours of the day, I can guarantee you 20 hours of the 24 hours is devoted to Sundowns.”

David Kappel
David Kappel
David Kappel has served as a renowned international editor and content manager for almost a decade. David specialises in ensuring content and social media posts are highly engaging for football fans and was previously the international editor at Soccer Laduma. He is currently the iDiski Times website editor and social strategist.