Orlando Pirates of South Africa coach Josef Zinnbauer begins on Tuesday a CAF Confederation Cup campaign he hopes will end with him becoming the first German to lift the trophy.
JOHANNESBURG – Orlando Pirates of South Africa coach Josef Zinnbauer begins on Tuesday a CAF Confederation Cup campaign he hopes will end with him becoming the first German to lift the trophy.
Spanish and Swiss coaches have each won the African equivalent of the UEFA Europa League twice and French and Dutch coaches once, with Africans masterminding the other 11 triumphs.
Pirates are away to Sagrada Esperanca of Angola in a last 32 first leg and Zinnbauer says he has footage of opponents “who will not be pushovers”.
Here, AFP Sport puts the spotlight on Pirates, three other CAF title winners and a Rwandan club who needed government permission to prepare.
Orlando Pirates are long overdue CAF glory, having won the African Cup of Champions Clubs (now CAF Champions League) in 1995 and the CAF Super Cup one year later.
They came close twice since, losing to Al Ahly of Egypt in the 2013 Champions League final and to Etoile Sahel of Tunisia in the Confederation Cup final two seasons later.
Zinnbauer can choose from a strong squad, skippered by national team centre-back Thulani Hlatshwayo and including Ghana goalkeeper Richard Ofori, Namibia winger Deon Hotto and Malawi forward Frank Mhango.
Mokawloon: After scoring 10 times against Djibouti opponents in a preliminary tie, Al Mokawloon Al Arab of Egypt are likely to find goals much harder to come by at home to African giants Etoile Sahel of Tunisia.
Mokawloon are back in African competition for the first time since 2005 having won the now defunct African Cup Winners Cup three times, with the last success 24 years ago.
Etoile: are the only club to win all five current and past CAF competitions — the Champions League (once) and the Confederation Cup, Super Cup, African Cup Winners Cup and CAF Cup (twice each).
Kigali: the club from the Rwandan capital needed government permission to prepare for a home match against Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) of Uganda after Covid-19 forced the suspension of the national league.
AS Kigali were indebted to Nigerian Aboubakar Lawal in the preliminary round as he scored the two goals that gave them an away-goals victory over Orapa United of Botswana.
KCCA are vastly experienced African campaigners and will be expected to win this east African derby and advance to a play-off against a Champions League round of 32 loser.
Berkane: Moroccan club Renaissance Berkane hope to emulate CS Sfaxien of Tunisia and TP Mazembe of the Democratic Republic of Congo and win back-to-back Confederation Cup titles.
The club from the citrus fruit-producing north east of the kingdom have grown progressively stronger in the competition, reaching the 2018 quarter-finals and the 2019 final before lifting the trophy last season.
They beat Pyramids of Egypt in the final fielding 10 Moroccans and Burkina Faso defender Issoufou Dayo and start the title defence away to modest Tevragh Zeina from neighbouring Mauritania.
JS Kabylie of Algeria are the seventh most successful club in CAF competitions with six titles, including three straight successes in the now defunct CAF Cup.
But it is 18 years since the club based in Tizi Ouzou, 110 kilometres (68 miles) east of Algiers, last won African silverware.
The Canaries launch their title challenge away to Gendarmerie Nationale of Niger, who surprised Yeelen Olympique of Mali in the preliminary round, and should not be unduly troubled in winning the tie.