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Mokwena On Riveiro: He’s Fierce Competitor

  • May 28, 2024
  • 2 min read
Mokwena On Riveiro: He’s Fierce Competitor

Rulani Mokwena, coach of Mamelodi Sundowns, acknowledges the demeanor of Orlando Pirates coach Jose Riveiro. Mokwena highlights Riveiro’s seemingly down-to-earth personality but emphasizes his competitive spirit.

This fiery rivalry between Sundowns and Pirates will be reignited on Saturday (15:00) as the two sides clash in the Nedbank Cup final at Mbombela Stadium.

While Riveiro’s Pirates haven’t secured a league victory over Sundowns since Riveiro took over last year, the Brazilians haven’t conquered the Buccaneers in cup competitions since the Spaniard’s arrival at the beginning of last season.

Last season, Pirates knocked Sundowns out of the MTN8 semifinals, ultimately winning the trophy. This defeat, particularly the second leg loss in Polokwane, prompted a shift within the Sundowns technical team, with Mokwena assuming the sole head coach role.

Pirates emerged victorious again in the MTN8 final in December, defeating Sundowns on penalties in Durban. Despite the cup final loss, Sundowns dominated the league, claiming their fourth consecutive DStv Premiership title.

“Apart from everything else, I genuinely like Jose,” Mokwena said. “Every time I meet him, I feel a genuine sense of respect and sportsmanship. He’s a fierce competitor, but also a good person.”

Mokwena also commended Stellenbosch coach Steve Barker for his work with the team, who finished third in the league and qualified for the CAF Confederation Cup next season. He further acknowledged the efforts of Ernst Middendorp at Cape Town Spurs, highlighting the difficulty of facing his team and his positive impact despite the club’s relegation to the Motsepe Foundation Championship.

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