Pitso Mosimane reveals ‘plans’ he signed Gaston Sirino for Sundowns amid chances of Uruguayan joining Al Ahly

The Uruguayan has had only 200 minutes of competitive football in total this season in one cup match and three league appearances for Masandawana.

Former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane believes that Masandawana forward Gaston Sirino should have been given the opportunity to secure his financial future by signing for Ahly.

Sirino had made no secret of his desire to join Mosimane at Al Ahly, where the former Bafana Bafana coach had guided the Red Devils to the treble last year, the Egyptian league and cup as well as the Caf Champions League.

The saga lingered on for several months, during which time Sirino had initially been sidelined by injury as well.

Finally, Sundowns issued a statement on the matter in December as they looked to try and emphatically bring to an end the speculation and also to try and get the Uruguay-born Sirino focused on his job in South Africa.

Having been the one to bring Sirino over from South America to play in the Premier Soccer League, Mosimane admits that it had always been in his plan to help the player secure his financial future by moving onto a richer region of the football world at some point.

“When I recruit, I recruit with a vision, and I told Sirino (on joining Downs four seasons ago) that ‘at your age, 26 (the age when Sirino joined Sundowns), you have missed Europe so your chance is in China, in the Middle East or in South Africa.

“At this point it is South Africa giving you an opportunity. Come here, do well and when you play in the Champions League and Club World Cup, the Middle East will see you,” the two-time Champions League-winning coach was reported to have said by the Citizen.

While Sirino is still contracted to the Tshwane club, Mosimane pointed to the fact that Sundowns previously released himself as well as Percy Tau while still under contract.

“Now [Sirino] is 29, going to 30, and I understand how he reacted, to say ‘I have a chance to make a bit more for myself, this might be my last contract’.

“You can say he has a five-year contract at Sundowns – I also signed a four-year contract at Sundowns.

“Percy Tau was sold under contract (to Brighton & Hove Albion). Players have 40 or 50 years to live (after football).

“What do you live with if you are not skilled in anything but football? It is why (Andres) Iniesta moves (to Japan), it is why Xavi moves (to Qatar). It is a last chance and you have to go,” Mosimane continued.

“Players, coaches and agents have a lot to learn. Sometimes we lose out on opportunities, especially players, we will say ‘this guy is bankrupt, he doesn’t have any money.’ There are many more years to live after football. Gaston was crying for this chance, I know that for sure.”


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