Motsepe, Downs living the dream

JOHANNESBURG - The biggest club story on the African continent this week has been the exploits of Pretoria-based Mamelodi Sundowns who defied all odds to beat Egyptian giants Zamalek 3-1 on aggregate and won the African Champions League trophy.

Now, they don’t come bigger for any club on the continent than winning the Champions League title.

Having won 3-0 at home, it was always going to be a formality for the Gauteng side and although Zamalek scored a consolation goal in the second half during the second leg, the die had been cast.

Apart from pocketing a whopping R20 million in prize money, the victory also offers the winners an opportunity to compete in the Fifa Club World Cup whose edition will take place in Japan in December this year.

Now that is some incentive. Which player would not like to rub shoulders with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and company?

And for those who haven’t heard the news, Sundowns owner, mining mogul Patrice Motsepe has told the media and public that he would not take a single cent from the winnings. That money would be shared among the players. Wow!

That means certain players who played throughout the qualifiers like our own Khama Billiat might be having a fantastic Christmas. He might easily end up realising a staggering R1 million on his bank balance. Now that is not small change! Coming back to Sundowns conquering Africa; it all goes to show how meticulous planning can bring huge rewards.

When Motsepe bought Sundowns in 2004, the Mzansi game was dominated by traditional rivals Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs.

But having pumped millions and millions of Rands into the club, the Brazilians have become the team to beat in Mzansi and with the Champions League title in the bag; this might catapult them to further dizzy heights. Motsepe is one club owner who doesn’t believe in cutting corners when it comes to reaping rich dividends.

His philosophy when he bought the club was to make it not only a giant in Mzansi but on the African continent.

To make sure his team stays at the top; he has bought only the best players and pays them well. In his own admission recently, he boasted that playing for Sundowns has changed players’ lives.

This might look a ridiculous way of achieving success but this is the trend the world over. Teams literally buy success by bringing on board only the best.

The likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, and Manchester United among others spend millions and millions of dollars in bringing on their books only the best and that is exactly what Motsepe is doing.

They say money makes the world go round and for sure, Motsepe has made his billions do all the talking.

There is a lesson that can be learnt from how Motsepe has built his empire and the model of creating a success story.

From being a junior partner at a top Johannesburg law firm, to running a business from a car boot, Motsepe rose up to being one of the richest people in South Africa.

But that has not stopped him from remaining grounded. He remains modest, has time for the rank and file and attends most of the club’s matches.

While stories of financial difficulties by Zimbabwean clubs are well documented, running teams on a professional basis should not be compromised.

If you want the best from your players, you mustn’t short change them — after all they are the major role players in the bigger scheme of things. They must get their salaries on time, have adequate transport, stay in good hotels when in camp and fly to long distance fixtures.

Today, Motsepe is and his team are living their dreams because they did everything by the book.

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