Many were sceptical that Pitso Mosimane would last more than six months when he made his bombshell move from Mamelodi Sundowns to the continent's biggest and most successful club, Al Ahly, in late September 2020.
He proved his doubters wrong and more.
The previous time a coach moved from the Premier Soccer League to Egypt had been when Milutin Sredojevic left Orlando Pirates for Zamalek in August 2019, and the Serb lasted two-and-a-half months.
But with the Red Devils not having won the trophy they covet most, the Caf Champions League, for seven years, Mosimane had been specifically headhunted by Ahly president Mahmoud El Khatib for his ability in that competition, which he had won with Mamelodi Sundowns in 2016. The coach had transformed the Brazilians into regular knockout stage competitors.
And Mosimane did bring Ahly trophy and international success. TimesLIVE has compiled a timeline of the former Bafana Bafana coach's stay in Cairo:
September 30 2020 — Mosimane leaves Sundowns to join Ahly
Many did not believe the story when TimesLIVE broke it early on the morning of that day, until it was confirmed by both clubs about 1pm.
TimesLIVE reported: “He was apparently approached after he delivered Sundowns' 10th Premiership title on a dramatic final day of the season in which the Brazilians overtook Kaizer Chiefs who had been in the driving seat of the title race all season.”
October 11 2020 — Champions Ahly end 2019-20 Egyptian Premier League season with 0-0 draw at home to Pyramids
The title had been wrapped up by Mosimane's predecessor Rene Weiler, but the South African steered his new team to two wins and a draw at the end of the Covid-19-extended season and collected a winner's medal.