Mot­sepe and Ka­tumbi in face-off

CityPress - - Sport - TIMOTHY MOLOBI timothy@city­press.co.za

On pa­per, win­ners of the CAF Cham­pi­ons League – the su­pe­rior con­ti­nen­tal cham­pi­onship – should au­to­mat­i­cally win the CAF Su­per Cup by beat­ing the win­ners of the CAF Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup.

But this is a the­ory far re­moved from re­al­ity, and will be put to the test on Satur­day.

Mamelodi Sun­downs should brace them­selves for an on­slaught in the match against three-time Su­per Cup win­ners TP Mazembe as they bat­tle it out to de­ter­mine the con­ti­nent’s best club at Lu­cas Moripe Sta­dium in At­teridgeville.

Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup cham­pi­ons Mazembe are out to prove that they did not be­long in the sec­ond-tier con­test.

One thing is for sure – it will be more than just a foot­ball bat­tle when the two sides meet.

The two are not only fight­ing for dom­i­nance in the South­ern African Devel­op­ment Com­mu­nity (SADC) re­gion, they have a score to set­tle on other fronts.

Sun­downs beat Mazembe to the African Club of the Year ti­tle; while De­nis Onyango and Khama Bil­liat also came ahead of Mazembe’s Rain­ford Kal­aba at the CAF Awards.

This is the first time in his­tory that two in­ter­con­ti­nen­tal ti­tles – the CAF Cham­pi­ons League and CAF Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup – have been won On pa­per, Pa­trice Mot­sepe is worth more than his coun­ter­part Moïse Ka­tumbi in terms of money, but the Con­golese boasts far more achieve­ments than his South African peer on the soc­cer field.

The CAF Su­per Cup clash be­tween Sun­downs and Mazembe on Satur­day once again pits the two bil­lion­aires against one an­other.

Mot­sepe and Ka­tumbi share the same am­bi­tion: to make their clubs a ma­jor force on in Africa and on the in­ter­na­tional stage.The two bil­lion­aires have raised the bar by at­tract­ing the crème de la crème of play­ers by pay­ing ex­or­bi­tant salaries and ac­quir­ing the best tal­ent.

They have changed the face of African foot­ball by clubs from the SADC re­gion.

Sun­downs may once again be on par with Or­lando Pirates – the only South African team to have won the Su­per Cup – if they win on Satur­day. The Brazil­ians have al­ready caught up with the Buc­ca­neers by ob­tain­ing a Cham­pi­ons League star, and are now a game away from catch­ing up with them on con­ti­nen­tal foot­ball ti­tles. Pirates beat JS Kabylie of Al­ge­ria 1-0 to lift the Su­per Cup tro­phy in 1996.

Kaizer Chiefs came close to win­ning the Su­per Cup in 2002, but lost 4-1 to Egypt’s Al Ahly.

Now, Sun­downs have the chance to reg­is­ter their name on the tro­phy.

How­ever, it won’t be easy. Mazembe are the de­fend­ing cham­pi­ons, who are chas­ing Al – for the right rea­son – as they look af­ter the in­ter­ests of their play­ers.

But they re­main ri­vals on the pitch as nei­ther wants to be out­done by the other.

While Ka­tumbi’s Mazembe have al­ready tasted glory in the CAF Cham­pi­ons League on four oc­ca­sions, Mot­sepe’s Sun­downs are still on a high af­ter fi­nally con­quer­ing the con­ti­nent last year.

The two clubs have even played in the Fifa Club World Cup – an elite com­pe­ti­tion fea­tur­ing the win­ners from all six con­ti­nents.

The Su­per Cup will de­ter­mine who is the best on the con­ti­nent – when it comes to soc­cer, that is.

– Timothy Molobi

Ahly’s record of six ti­tles. A vic­tory will take them one above Za­malek – who are tied with Mazembe at three Su­per Cup ti­tles.

The Demo­cratic Re­pub­lic of Congo gi­ants won the CAF Su­per Cup in 2010, 2011 and 2016, a pe­riod dur­ing which the team trans­formed it­self into a for­mi­da­ble club on the con­ti­nent.

It also made his­tory by be­com­ing the first African club to play in the fi­nal of the 2010 Fifa Club World Cup. Sadly, they lost to Ital­ian gi­ants In­ter Mi­lan.

The fact that Sun­downs won the CAF Cham­pi­ons League ti­tle, pre­vi­ously held by Mazembe, makes this clash even more in­ter­est­ing. Mazembe is still smart­ing from los­ing the ti­tle and Sun­downs now stand a 55 $1.7bn (R23bn) Club: Mamelodi Sun­downs Run­ners-up: 2001 In­di­vid­ual awards African Club of the Year 2016 SA team of the year 2016 PSL team of the sea­son 2015-16, 2013-14

Fifa Club World Cup 2016

chance of wrest­ing away the Su­per Cup tro­phy.

On pa­per, Mazembe look stronger than Sun­downs. Four of their play­ers – Djo Is­sama Mpeko, Merveille Bokadi, Ley Matampi and Jonathan Bolingi – have just re­turned from the Africa Cup of Na­tions in Gabon, where the Demo­cratic Re­pub­lic of Congo reached the quar­ter­fi­nals.

Sun­downs have just re­turned to ac­tion fol­low­ing a lengthy break and will have played only two

FivE kEy lEssons tHAt BAFAnA CAn lEArn From CAmEroon

Unity 52 $60m (R804m) TP Mazembe 1967, 1968, 2009, 2010, 2015 Run­ners-up: 1969, 1970

CAF Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup Win­ners: Run­ners-up: CAF Su­per Cup win­ners:

com­pet­i­tive games be­fore Satur­day’s de­cider.

How­ever, Sun­downs also have some of the best tal­ent on the con­ti­nent, with the likes of Bil­liat, Percy Tau and An­thony Laf­for ex­pected to lead from the front. Kick­off is at 7pm.

Mean­while, Su­perS­port United play ASSM El­geco Plus of Mada­gas­car in the pre­lim­i­nary round of the CAF Con­fed­er­a­tion Cup this af­ter­noon.

Pa­trice Mot­sepe Age: Net worth: Moïse Ka­tumbi Age: Net worth: Club:

CAF Cham­pi­ons League cham­pi­ons 2016 CAF Cham­pi­ons League cham­pi­ons 2016 2013 2010, 2011, 2016

Sixth FIFA Club World Cup Run­ners-up: 2010

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