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Patrice Motsepe has revealed he refused to touch the trophy after his Mamelodi Sundowns players beat Zamalek 3-1 on aggregate to win the African Champions League in Alexandria‚ Egypt‚ in October last year.

Sundowns became only the second South African club after Orlando Pirates‚ who won the title in 1995‚ to win continental club football’s Holy Grail when they overcame the Egyptian powerhouses over two legs.

Motsepe said that historic moment belonged to his players and the Sundowns technical staff and he was never going to steal their thunder after the team crisscrossed the continent for months in pursuit of the title.

Patrice Motsepe and Fikile Mbalula (Minister of Sport) celebrate in change room after Sundowns win the 2016 CAF Champions League Final beating Zamalek 3-1 on aggregate at the Borg El Arab Stadium in Alexandria, Egypt on 23 October 2016.
Image by: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix / BackpagePix

‘‘When we were in Zamalek (in October) I refused to touch the cup‚” Motsepe said.

‘‘I did that because it wasn’t about me‚ it was about the players and the technical staff.

‘‘They (the players and the technical team) kept calling me to join them and hoist the trophy but I said ’no man‚ the focus is not on me. I am‚ with the greatest of humility‚ the most unimportant person present. You guys have been suffering and working so hard.”

Motsepe said it is moments like those that he will forever cherish as he approaches that rocking pensioner’s chair waiting for him on his front porch.

‘‘So that for me was what made me‚ personally‚ hugely excited.

‘‘Maybe it’s a sign of me slowly becoming a pensioner that all of these things seem to emotionally excite me more than the others.”

Coach Pitso Mosimane and his players have been given some time off to recharge their batteries before the domestic programme resume next month after the African Nations Cup in Gabon.

— TMG

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