The final of the 2022 CAF Champions League, to be decided on Monday, will not just be a clash between Al Ally SC of Egypt and Wydah Casablanca of Morocco.
It is surely bigger than just a cup final, as it will also be a duel of two elite African coaches – the South African Pitso Mosimane of Ahly and Moroccan, Walid Regragui of Waydad.
Mosimane is a winner of three CAF Champions League titles; one with the Mamelodi Sundowns of Africa in 2016, and the last two with the Cairo giants, Al Ahly SC, in 2020 and 2021.
Pitso fondly called is into his fourth final of the competition, and has the opportunity to firmly establish himself in the folklore of African football, should the Red Devils win again tomorrow, to make it an unprecedented three titles in a row.
A fourth CAF Champions League trophy for the South African, will equal the record set in this competition by one of his predecessors on the bench of Al Ahly, Manuel José. The Portuguese trainer won the flagship continental title with Ahly in 2001, 2005, 2006 and 2008.
Pitso Mosimane Achievement:
He has won all the available trophies in his country (league title and FA Cup and the CAF Champions League),
His achievements so far leave not even his critics with a choice, but to conclude that he has succeeded in his foray abroad in one of the most competitive leagues in Africa which is the Egyptian Premiership, with the fans among the most demanding.
Revered in his country for winning titles with different clubs, Mosimane has put Al Ahly back on the top of the continent by winning six titles (two Champions Leagues, an Egyptian FA Cup in 2020, an Egyptian league title in 2020 and two CAF Supercups in 2020 and 2021) in two years in charge of the Cairo-based giants.
Meanwhile, Walid Regragui reclined to club football and coached Morocco sides like FUS Rabat and Qatari club Al Duhail SC with these teams, the former Atlas Lions right-back won league titles; and in August 2021 after his Qatari bosses ended his job following his elimination from the Asian Champions League, he landed at Wydad Casablanca where he is on track to achieve a double.
With two rounds of matches before the end Moroccan League, WAC leads the league table with 53 points, 6 points more than their closest rivals Raja Casablanca, who are on 49 points.
And in the CAF Champions League, he is well on course to win the CAF Champions League, on home soil.
It will not be an easy task though against Ahly and also against Mosimane. And besides this, Wydad Casablanca’s last victory in the Champions League dates back to 2017, when they drew 1-1 with Al Ahly in Cairo, and went on to edge the two-legged final 2-1 on aggregate after a 1-0 victory, in Casablanca.
Writing by Chinedum Ohanusi; Editing by Tina Oyinsan