Mamelodi Sundowns F.C.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia - 08/2014
Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club
Loftus Versfeld Stadium, Pretoria
ABSA Premiership, 1st
Mamelodi Sundowns are a South African football (soccer) club based in Pretoria that plays in the Premier Soccer League.
Since the inception of the PSL in 1996 Sundowns have won the league title a record six times. Sundowns are owned by billionaire mining magnate Patrice Motsepe.
The club's nickname, The Brazilians, is a reference to their uniforms, which echo those of the Brazilian national team.
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 Reginald Hartze, Joey Lawrence 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 R10000.00, 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 2006-07 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 failed to win the 'double' losing to Ajax Cape Town in the 2007 ABSA Cup final.
After a stuttering start to the 2009-10 season, an impressive run through the second half of the season saw the club to second position in the final league standings. The club nevertheless parted ways with coach Hristo Stoichkov.
In the 2010-2011 season, Antonio Lopez Habas, who was the assistant coach under Stoichkov, took over the reins of the senior team. Sundowns made its best ever start to a League season and topped the league standings at the end of the first round.
The second round of the league proved more competitive and Sundowns were in the hunt for the league title until the second last match.
Habas resigned in February citing personal reasons and went back to Spain. Assistant coach Ian Gorowa was appointed as interim head coach.
In 2011 Johan Neeskens was appointed coach of Sundowns.
On 4 March 2012, the team set a remarkable South African record in the Nedbank Cup when they beat Powerlines FC by 24 goals to nil.
Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club is the current champion 2014 and Pitso Mosimane is the coach