All-conquering South African Premier Soccer League (PSL) champions Mamelodi Sundowns are on the cusp of immortality.

The Brazilians are looking to put the icing on the cake of yet another routine league title by going through the season unbeaten.

The curtain comes down on the PSL season on Saturday, and if Sundowns avoid defeat against Cape Town City they will become South African top-flight football’s first ‘Invincibles’.

It’s a feat they no more than deserve. Masandawana have been peerless for years and relentlessly obsessive in their pursuit of glory.

Another mandatory title

Sundowns romped to a seventh consecutive league title a few weeks ago with almost a quarter of their allotment of fixtures to spare. That’s just how dominant they are.

The Brazilians go into the final game of the season on Saturday with a 23-point lead over second-placed Stellenbosch University, a gap that emphasises the schism between the club and the rest.

There was a glimmer of hope for rivals when the highly successful Pitso Mosimane quit as Sundowns head coach in 2020 after winning five titles.

Sundowns opted for a rather curious egalitarian coaching collective, with Rhulani Mokwena and Manqoba Mngqithi as co-coaches and Steve Khompela brought in for good measure to make it a triumvirate.

The seemingly bloated coaching structure was supposed to give rivals some encouragement – you know, the cautionary tale about too many cooks and the broth.

It was all wishful thinking. Sundowns suffered no post-Mosimane hangover, winning four league titles on offer since Mosimane’s departure.

Khompela has since struck out on his own to become a coach in his own right elsewhere, first at Moroka Swallows and now at Golden Arrows.

Mngqithi, the long-serving club man, remains at Sundowns but in a coaching role subservient to Mokwena, who emerged from the refinement of the coaching structure as the head coach for the past two seasons.

Scotland comparisons

Sundowns have turned title races into processions. They have won a record 17 league titles and 14 since the launch of the Premier Soccer League in 1996. The latest title triumph was their seventh on the trot and eighth in 10 seasons.

It’s easy to see why the PSL invites derisory comparisons with the Scottish Premiership. Sundowns’ dominance of South African football in the last decade has been total, setting themselves apart as the untouchables.

They have not only established themselves as a dominant force at home, but also on the continent as regular participants and serious contenders in the CAF Champions League.

To underline their growing stature on the continent, in November 2023 Sundowns were crowned champions of the inaugural African Football League, formerly mooted as the CAF Super League.

While the likes of Egyptian giants Al Ahly and other top North African clubs have provided stern tests for Sundowns in African club competitions, it is difficult to see where the domestic challenge is going to come from.

In their maker’s image

Ominously for rivals, there is no sign of inertia setting in at Sundowns, the club resting on their laurels. The Brazilians retain a frightening hunger and insatiable appetite for more success. It’s no longer just about winning, but doing it in style, driven by a strong desire to write themselves into history books.

Perhaps Sundowns take their steer from their billionaire owner, the astute businessman and incumbent CAF President, Patrice Motsepe.

Motsepe has generously bankrolled the club transforming Mamelodi Sundowns into serial winners, a juggernaut.

Q: How many league titles have Mamelodi Sundowns won?
A: 17

Q: When was the South African Premier Soccer League formed?
A: 1996

Q: How many league titles did Pitso Mosimane win as Sundowns head coach?
A: 5

Q: How many league titles have Mamelodi Sundowns won in the last 10 seasons?
A: 8

Q: Who were three coaches entrusted with coaching Sundowns after Pitso Mosimane’s departure?
A: Mangoba Mngqithi, Rhulani Mokwena and Steve Khompela

Q: Who is the current Mamelodi Sundowns head coach?
A: Rhulani Mokwena

Q: Who is the Golden Arrows head coach?
A: Steve Khompela

Q: Who owns Southampton African PSL club Mamelodi Sundowns?
A: Patrice Motsepe

Q: Which club won the inaugural African Football League ( CAF Super League) competition ?
A: Mamelodi Sundowns

Q: What is Mamelodi Sundowns’ nickname?
A: The Brazilians or Masandawana


I'm Barrie Jarrett, born in Leeds, lived over a decade in South Africa, CEO And Co Founder of Planet Sport Limited and Planet Bet Limited.

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