Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club History: From Humble Beginnings to Dominance

Romwald
Romwald
19 Min Read

Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club is a South African professional football club that has a rich history of success and dominance. The club was founded in the 1970s and is based in Mamelodi, Pretoria in the Gauteng province. Sundowns play in the Premier Soccer League, which is the first tier of South African football league system.

The club has won 17 League Championships in total, making them one of the most successful clubs in South African football history. Sundowns have also had success on the continental level, winning the CAF Champions League in 2016. The team has a loyal fan base and plays its home games in the Loftus Versfeld Stadium, which has a capacity of over 50,000 spectators.

Key Takeaways

  • Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club is a South African professional football club that has won 17 League Championships in total, making them one of the most successful clubs in South African football history.
  • The team has a loyal fan base and plays its home games in the Loftus Versfeld Stadium, which has a capacity of over 50,000 spectators.
  • Sundowns have also had success on the continental level, winning the CAF Champions League in 2016.

 

Founding and Early Years

Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club was founded in the 1970s in Mamelodi, Pretoria, Gauteng province of South Africa 1. The club originated around Marabastad, a cosmopolitan area northwest of the Pretoria CBD in the early sixties. It was formed by a group of youngsters residing in the area, including individuals such as Frank “ABC” Motsepe, Roy Fischer, Ingle Singh, and Bernard Hartze 2.

Sundowns FC played their first game in the second division of the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) in 1973 1. The club struggled in the second division until 1978 when they were promoted to the first division 2.

The club’s early years were marked by financial struggles and instability. Sundowns was owned by a pair of doctors from Mamelodi, but they could not provide enough financial support. The club’s players had to pay for their own training equipment and uniforms 3.

In 1980, the club was taken over by the mining magnate and businessman, Abe Krok, who provided the necessary financial support and stability 1. Krok invested heavily in the club, buying top players and building a strong team. In 1985, Sundowns won the National Soccer League (NSL) championship 3.

Overall, the founding and early years of Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club were marked by financial struggles and instability. However, the club’s fortunes changed when it was taken over by Abe Krok, who invested heavily in the club and built a strong team.

Footnotes

  1. History – Mamelodi Sundowns | Official Website 2 3
  2. Mamelodi Sundowns F.C. Facts for Kids – Kids encyclopedia 2
  3. The rise and rise of South Africa’s Mamelodi Sundowns – BBC Sport 2

 

Era of Success and Dominance

Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club has enjoyed a period of success and dominance in recent years. The team has won multiple domestic and continental titles, cementing their position as one of the most successful football clubs in South Africa.

Domestic Triumphs

Sundowns’ domestic success began with their first league title in the 1997/1998 season. This was followed by several more league titles in the years that followed, including a historic four consecutive league titles from 2015 to 2019.

In addition to their league success, Sundowns have also won several domestic cup competitions. This includes the Nedbank Cup, Telkom Knockout, and MTN8 Cup.

Continental Achievements

Sundowns’ success has not been limited to domestic competitions. The team has also achieved significant success in continental competitions, including the CAF Champions League and the CAF Super Cup.

In 2016, Sundowns became the second South African team to win the CAF Champions League, beating Zamalek SC in the final. They followed this up with a win in the CAF Super Cup the following year.

Overall, Sundowns’ era of success and dominance has been marked by consistent performances and a winning mentality. The team’s success has been built on a strong foundation of talented players, excellent coaching, and a dedicated fan base.

 

Iconic Players and Coaches

Legendary Players

Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club has had a number of legendary players throughout its history. These players have contributed to the club’s success and have become icons in South African football. Some of the most notable players in Sundowns history include:

  • Daniel Mudau: A striker who scored over 100 goals for the club and helped them win multiple league titles.
  • Surprise Moriri: A versatile midfielder who played for Sundowns for over a decade and was known for his technical skills and goal-scoring ability.
  • Hlompho Kekana: A central midfielder who has been with the club since 2011 and has won numerous individual awards, including the PSL Midfielder of the Season award.

Influential Coaches

In addition to its legendary players, Mamelodi Sundowns has also had a number of influential coaches who have led the team to success. These coaches have implemented different styles of play and have brought their own unique philosophies to the club. Some of the most influential coaches in Sundowns history include:

  • Ted Dumitru: A Romanian coach who led Sundowns to their first league title in 1988 and is widely regarded as one of the greatest coaches in South African football history.
  • Pitso Mosimane: A former Sundowns player who became the club’s head coach in 2012 and led the team to multiple league titles, as well as the 2016 CAF Champions League title.
  • Johan Neeskens: A Dutch football legend who was appointed as Sundowns head coach in 2011 and helped the team win the Nedbank Cup in his first season in charge.

These legendary players and influential coaches have played a significant role in shaping Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club’s history and have helped establish the team as one of the most successful clubs in South African football.

 

Stadium and Facilities

Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club plays their home games at the Lucas Moripe Stadium, located in Atteridgeville, a township of Pretoria, South Africa. The stadium has a capacity of 28,900 spectators and serves as part-time home stadium of the club. It was named after former club chairman Lucas Moripe.

In addition to the Lucas Moripe Stadium, Mamelodi Sundowns also has access to the Masandawana Training Center, a state-of-the-art training facility located in Chloorkop, Gauteng. The facility includes several fields, a gymnasium, a swimming pool, and other amenities to support the team’s training and development.

The club also has a youth academy, the Mamelodi Sundowns Academy, which is located at the Chloorkop training facility. The academy provides training and development opportunities for young footballers in the region, with the goal of identifying and nurturing talented players for the future of the club.

Overall, Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club has invested in top-notch facilities to support the team’s success both on and off the field.

 

Fan Base and Culture

Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club has a dedicated and passionate fan base. The club’s success has seen its fan base steadily grow in recent years. Sundowns supporters are known for their loyalty and unwavering support for the team. They are often seen wearing yellow and blue jerseys, waving flags, and singing songs in support of the players.

The club has a strong culture that is deeply rooted in its history. Sundowns is known for playing an attacking style of football that is focused on possession and creativity. The team’s success has been built on a strong work ethic and a commitment to excellence. Sundowns players are known for their technical skill, speed, and agility on the field.

Sundowns supporters are also known for their generosity and community involvement. The club has a number of social responsibility programs that aim to uplift and empower communities in need. These programs include education initiatives, health and wellness programs, and youth development programs.

In summary, the fan base and culture of Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club are a testament to the team’s success and commitment to excellence. The club’s loyal supporters and strong community involvement are a reflection of the team’s values and commitment to making a positive impact in the world.

 

Ownership and Management

Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club is owned by South African businessman Patrice Motsepe. He acquired the club in 2003 and renamed it Mamelodi Sundowns. Since then, the club has enjoyed tremendous success both domestically and internationally.

Under Motsepe’s ownership, Mamelodi Sundowns has become one of the most successful football clubs in South Africa. The club has won numerous league titles, cup competitions, and continental championships. This success has been achieved through a combination of astute management, strategic planning, and investment in top-quality players.

The club is currently managed by head coach Manqoba Mngqithi, who was appointed in 2020. He is assisted by co-coaches Rhulani Mokwena and Steve Komphela. Together, they have continued the club’s winning tradition, leading the team to further success in both domestic and international competitions.

In addition to the coaching staff, Mamelodi Sundowns has a strong management team that oversees the day-to-day operations of the club. This team includes a general manager, a technical director, and a team manager. Together, they work to ensure that the club runs smoothly and that the players have everything they need to perform at their best.

Overall, Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club is a well-managed and successful organization that has achieved great things under the ownership of Patrice Motsepe. With a strong management team and a talented squad of players, the club looks set to continue its winning ways for many years to come.

 

Rivalries and Notable Matches

Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club has a few notable rivalries, but the most intense one is with Orlando Pirates. Matches between these two teams are always highly anticipated and attract large crowds. The rivalry started in the 1980s and has continued to this day. Both teams have won numerous titles, and the matches between them are always fiercely contested.

Another notable rivalry is with Kaizer Chiefs. Matches between these two teams are also highly anticipated and attract large crowds. The rivalry started in the 1970s and has continued to this day. Both teams have won numerous titles, and the matches between them are always fiercely contested.

One of Mamelodi Sundowns’ most notable matches was the 2016 CAF Champions League Final against Zamalek. Sundowns won the match 3-1, with goals from Anthony Laffor, Tebogo Langerman, and Percy Tau. This victory made them the second South African team to win the Champions League, after Orlando Pirates in 1995.

Another notable match was the 2019/2020 Absa Premiership match against Bidvest Wits. Sundowns won the match 2-0, with goals from Themba Zwane and Keletso Makgalwa. This victory helped them secure the league title for the third consecutive season.

Overall, Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club has a rich history of rivalries and notable matches. Their matches are always highly anticipated and attract large crowds.

 

Community and Social Responsibility

Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club has a strong commitment to community and social responsibility. The club has a dedicated Community Department, which is responsible for organizing and implementing various community projects.

One of the key initiatives of the Community Department is the “Kicking AIDS Out” campaign. This campaign aims to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS and promote safe sex practices. The club has also partnered with various organizations to provide HIV/AIDS testing and counseling services to the community.

In addition to the “Kicking AIDS Out” campaign, the club is also involved in various other community projects. These include providing food and clothing to underprivileged families, supporting local schools and education initiatives, and promoting environmental sustainability.

Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club also has a strong focus on youth development. The club runs a successful youth academy, which has produced many talented young players over the years. The academy provides training and education to young players, with the aim of developing them both as footballers and as individuals.

Overall, Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club is committed to making a positive impact in the community. Through its various community and social responsibility initiatives, the club is helping to improve the lives of many people in the Mamelodi area and beyond.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Who was the founding owner of Mamelodi Sundowns?

Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club was founded in 1970 by a group of football enthusiasts from Mamelodi, a township located east of Pretoria, South Africa. The founding members included Trott Moloto, Isaac Shai, and others. The club was initially named “Zulu Royals,” and it was not until 1978 that the club was renamed “Mamelodi Sundowns.” The founding owner of the club is not known as it was a community initiative.

How many league titles has Mamelodi Sundowns won?

Mamelodi Sundowns is one of the most successful football clubs in South Africa, having won the Premier Soccer League (PSL) title a record 11 times, including three consecutive titles from 2017 to 2019. The club has also won the National Professional Soccer League (NPSL) title four times.

What are the significant achievements of Mamelodi Sundowns in the CAF Champions League?

Mamelodi Sundowns has been a dominant force in African football, having won the CAF Champions League, the most prestigious club competition in Africa, a record two times. The club won the tournament in 2016 and 2021, becoming the second South African club to win the competition twice after Orlando Pirates.

Can you list the major trophies won by Mamelodi Sundowns since its inception?

Mamelodi Sundowns has won numerous major trophies since its inception, including the Nedbank Cup, Telkom Knockout, and MTN 8. The club has also won the CAF Super Cup, a competition that pits the winners of the CAF Champions League against the winners of the CAF Confederation Cup.

What led to Mamelodi Sundowns being nicknamed ‘The Brazilians’?

Mamelodi Sundowns is known as “The Brazilians” due to the club’s style of play, which is influenced by Brazilian football. The club’s founder, Trott Moloto, was a fan of Brazilian football and wanted to bring the flair and creativity of Brazilian football to South Africa. The club’s yellow and blue kit also resembles the colors of the Brazilian national team.

What is the historical rivalry between Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs about?

Mamelodi Sundowns and Kaizer Chiefs are two of the most successful football clubs in South Africa and have a long-standing rivalry that dates back to the 1980s. The rivalry is fueled by the fact that both clubs are based in Gauteng province, the most populous province in South Africa and the home of the country’s administrative capital, Pretoria. The matches between the two clubs are always fiercely contested, and the rivalry is considered one of the biggest in South African football.

 

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