Pitso Mosimane on Wednesday announced that he had left his position as coach of South African champions Mamelodi Sundowns.
Mosimane leaves Sundowns after eight years in charge, having won five league titles and the CAF Champions League title in 2016
Mosimane issued an emotional statement “with a sense of pain and sadness” confirming his departure from the 10-time league champions.
Mosimane said he had accepted an offer to join an international team but did not elaborate any further.
“I am only going away to carry the spirit of the Yellow Nation with me. After winning five league titles with Mamelodi Sundowns – the 10th for the club – how can a man ever find it easy to say goodbye to his home? How can I say goodbye to the family, the board, the supporters and the fans?”
“I am taking up this new challenge that will push me out of my comfort zone. I know Mamelodi Sundowns will use this as a fresh and new perspective.”
Earlier on Wednesday, local media had reported Mosimane had handed in his resignation amid speculation of a move to Egyptian giants Al Ahly.
Mosimane’s departure comes as a shock as he had signed a four-year contract extension with the club only in May following protracted speculation about his future.
“While I had four years remaining in my contract, this offer is a huge opportunity for me that would not have come had I not had the privilege to be part of the team that led Mamelodi Sundowns in winning the CAF Champions League and reaching the Club World Cup finals.”
Mosimane paid tribute to Dr. Patrice Motsepe, Sundowns’ president, for his support during his stint at the club saying he would not have achieved half of what he had without Motsepe.
“Mamelodi Sundowns has been my family for almost eight years. The President Dr. Patrice Motsepe has been like a father to me. He has been a mentor, a friend, a supporter and a confidante. I could never quit him or Mamelodi Sundowns,” Mosimane said.
Mosimane added that Motsepe “has blessed my move” noting that he had been “so good and generous to me.”
Mosimane’s final season with Sundowns was a historic one as the club won a historic domestic treble claiming the Premiership title, the Nedbank Cup and the Telkom Knockout Cup.
They became just the second South African side after Orlando Pirates, who have done it twice before, to secure a domestic treble.