Fondly referred to as ‘The Brazilians’ because of not only their unmissable yellow jerseys, but also their style of football, which mirrors mostly on the Brazilian way of playing with flair and flamboyance, it is not a surprise that Mamelodi Sundowns are in the final of the African Football League (AFL).
Abana ba Style have recently become the epitome of success in South African football. They are the record champions of the South African Premier Soccer League (PSL), having won it a massive 13 times. They have also been crowned champions six times consecutively and last season won it with seven matches to go.
Over the last 10 seasons, they have missed out on the title only twice, in the 2014-15 season when Kaizer Chiefs won and in the 2016-17 season when Bidvest Wits won. In both occasions, they finished second.
On top of 13 Premier League titles, Sundowns have won the CAF Champions League once (2016), the CAF Super Cup (2017) as well as the Nedbank Cup (six), Telkom Knockout (four) and the MTN 8 (four).
The club originated around Marabastad, a cosmopolitan area north west of the Pretoria CBD in the early sixties, where it was formed by a group of youngsters residing in the area.
The club mentions individuals such as Frank “ABC” Motsepe, Roy Fischer, Ingle Singh and Bernard Hartze as part of its founding young stars. The newly established team was named Marabastad Sundowns after an amateur club called Sundowns, which existed in the 1940s, also formed in Marabastad.
In 1969, Ingle “Jinx” Sigh, one of the founding players for Sundowns and later owner of both Marabastad Sundowns and Pretoria City (which later became SuperSport United F.C.), decided to sell the club to Dr. Bonny Sebotsane, Dr. Motsiri Itsweng and philanthropist Joseph Ntshimane “Fish” Kekana.
The club was moved to the nearby township of Mamelodi and was officially established and renamed as Mamelodi Sundowns in 1970.
In 2004, South African tycoon and current CAF president Patrice Motsepe bought a 51% share in the club and later took total control of the club by buying the remaining shares, thus becoming the sole owner and shareholder of the club.
Under their new owner, Sundowns picked up their first piece of silverware for six years in May 2006 when co-coaches Miguel Gamondi and Neil Tovey oversaw Sundowns’ triumph in the PSL, the seventh league title in their history.
Massive success however followed the club when Putso Mosimane took charge in 2012, and the tactician would lead them to their first ever Champions League title in 2016 and the CAF Super Cup the following year.