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Rulani Praises ‘Special Talent’

Mamelodi Sundowns co-head coach Rulani Mokwena has praised the consistency and hard work put in by Rivaldo Coetzee, after receiving some criticism for his performance against Kaizer Chiefs.

Coetzee was named Man of the Match in Sundowns’ win 1-0 against AmaZulu, as the defending champions kicked off their league campaign on a positive note.

When asked in the post match press conference by iDiski Times writer Rob Delport about Coetzee’s performance, Mokwena had high praise for the former Ajax Cape Town player.

“Ja, I think, Rob, a special talent, a special human being also, works hard and is extremely honest, extremely intelligent too, has a very good football brain,” Mokwena replied.

“And I think we get to see that every single day in video sessions, in meetings, pre-match talks. I mean, today, he came to us as the coaches and spoke about the preparation in relation to how we wanted to press, and what he felt about when the ball went to the left hand side, and when the ball went to the right hand side, and he gave a little bit of his feelings and his input. And from then we actually adopted it.

“And that’s what is colossal in the changeroom. He’s worked extremely hard to make sure that he’s fit and he stays injury free, so that he can play a lot more games and contribute to the success of this team.

“But a big player for us, a very important player for us, and we just we just happy that he got his performance to be slightly better than than what it was against Kaizer Chiefs. And the first thing he said to me when I walked into the change-room after the match, he says, ‘Are you happy?’ We were quite hard on him about the previous performance against Kaizer Chiefs.

“And I always say to Riva, the best number sixes are number sixes that after a match, no one says anything about them.

“That’s when you know that the number six has had a very good game. It’s when no one praises, no one criticises, you know that the number six had a top performance and that was Riva today, not too flamboyant, elaborative, but very steady, very quiet and going about the business in the right way in possession, and out of possession, top performing today.”

Sundowns return to action on Tuesday when they take on Chippa United in Gqeberha.