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Mosimane: Sirino was crying for the chance to join Al Ahly

Gaston Sirino of Mamelodi Sundowns
(Image credit: Backpagepix)

Former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says Gaston Sirino was desperate to move to Al Ahly, adding he believes the forward should have been able to secure his financial future with possibly his last contract.

Former Mamelodi Sundowns coach Pitso Mosimane says Gaston Sirino was desperate to move to Al Ahly, adding he believes the forward should have been able to secure his financial future with possibly his last contract.

Sirino’s desperation to join the Egyptian giants has been apparent ever since Mosimane left the Brazilians to move to the north-African club.

The Uruguayan publicly stated his desire to leave, which prompted a difficult spell for both club and players as the saga dragged on while Sirino was also sidelined by injury.

Sundowns eventually drew a line in the sand and issued a statement to seemingly end all speculation, but stated a deal wouldn't be agreed and Sirino should focus on his job in South Africa.

Speaking to the South African Football Journalists Association (Safja), former Downs coach Mosimane revealed that he believes the forward should have got his move despite the length of his current deal with the Brazilians.

'When I recruit, I recruit with a vision, and I told Sirino [on joining Downs four seasons ago]: "At your age, 26 [then], 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.

'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.'