Mosimane gestures while at Al Ahli Saudi: Image via Facebook @ Pitso Mosimane

Mosimane gestures while at Al Ahli Saudi: Image via Facebook @ Pitso Mosimane

When will Mosimane’s Abha Club take on Ronaldo’s team?

Pitso Mosimane’s move to Abha Club in the Saudi Pro League presents the accomplished gaffer the challenge of facing Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mosimane gestures while at Al Ahli Saudi: Image via Facebook @ Pitso Mosimane

Mosimane gestures while at Al Ahli Saudi: Image via Facebook @ Pitso Mosimane

Accomplished coach Pitso Mosimane’s to-do list should surely include tactics on how to tame Cristiano Ronaldo. The South African has picked a new job as the head coach of Abha Club in the Saudi Pro League. Abha’s opponents in the league include the Portuguese employers, Al Nassr.

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Why Mosimane would have to be at his best facing Ronaldo

Therefore, Mosimane will have to be at his tactical best when his Abha hosts Ronaldo’s club. Fixtures sourced on the Saudi Pro League website show that Abha will entertain Al Nassr on April 11, 2024. The game will take place at Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Sports City Stadium. The venue is the home for Abha who unveiled the ex-Al Ahly mentor on Friday. The former Al Wahda coach has joined on a short-term contract. The ex-Bafana Bafana handler has been tasked with saving the club from the jaws of relegation.

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Mosimane’s mandate in Ronaldo’s Saudi Pro League

The 59-year-old has returned to the dugout months after having last coached the United Arab Emirates side, Al Wahda. He quit Al Wahda in November 2023, barely after four months on the job. Mosimane has found a new job market in the Gulf Region. The South African first arrived in Saudi Arabia last year when he was hired as Al Ahli’s Saudi boss. He was tasked with dragging the club from the second tier to the top-flight league. The clean-shaven mentor achieved that task with aplomb. However, management eventually insisted on bringing in another coach. The Kagiso-born trainer eventually moved to the United Arab Emirates. Little did Mosimane know that he would make a U-turn to Saudi Arabia, this time around at Abha. Apart from Ronaldo, the Saudi Pro League is also home to other stars such as Karim Benzema, Sadio Mane and Riyad Mahrez.

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Why Abha Club have their backs to the wall fighting relegation

The 17th-placed team is fighting against relegation in the Saudi Pro League. Free-scoring Al Nassr are surely among the teams that could undermine that fight against the drop. The last time Abha travelled to face Al Nassr, the game ended two-all. Ronaldo was not on target in that match played on 26 October 2023. Otavio and Talisca provided the goals for Al Nassr, whereas Cameroonian star Karl Toko Ekambi and Bgur scored for Abha.

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How teams stand in the Saudi Pro League

Abha’s squad comprises well-known African stars such as Cameroon’s reserve goalkeeper Devis Epassy. The keeper was part of the Afcon squad for the Indomitable Lions. Abha Club lie second from the bottom of the 19-member league with 14 points from 19 games. Mosimane’s new employers have lost four of their last five league games. Their most immediate Saudi Pro League game would be against Al-Taawoun on February 15, 2024. Al-Hazm anchored the standings with 13 points. Up the table, Al Ahli leads the log table with 53 points from 19 games. The pacesetters are placed seven points in front of Ronaldo’s Al Nassr. Mosimane’s former team, Al-Ahli Saudi, occupy third place after having collected 40 points.