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By Katlego Modiba

Football Journalist

Nthethe says coach Rulani needs that second Sundowns star

'I believe that the way they have been playing, they deserve the second star,' he told to Thabiso Mosia on Radio 2000.

Thabo Nthethe believes its high time Mamelodi Sundowns lift their second Caf Champions League title ,having last won it eight years ago.

The former centre-back was part of Pitso Mosimane’s team that went all the way in 2016 in what was their first and only Champions League triumph.

The Brazilians were knocked out of the competition at this stage last season by Wydad Casablanca and Nthethe has backed his former team to go a step further.

“Yes, I think Africa and the world know Mamelodi Sundowns. This is the semifinal and Sundowns have been losing at this stage. I believe that the way they have been playing, they deserve the second star,” he told to Thabiso Mosia on Radio 2000.

“That is my belief because they have been dominating locally and coach Rulani Mokwena definitely needs the second star.

“I think that players know how it is in the Champions League because the teams are very difficult to play against especially when they play at home. Like you said that the tickets are sold out so we are expecting big numbers in attendance.”

Nthethe who also picked up the Caf Super Cup winner’s medal in 2017 provided an inside into playing in North Africa where fans use every trick in the book to unsettle visiting teams.

“Sundowns love being underdogs, especially playing away in the Champions League. They play their best football when they are away and they are underdogs,” he explained.

‘I didn’t see anyone who was scared’

“It started when we were still playing and when we won the Champions League and when those supporters flashed us with green lights in our faces, it’s like they were pumping us to play well. I could see the ball clearly and anything on the field of play so they were not disturbing me anyway. I used to love that and I believe even the guys, I didn’t see anyone who was scared to play in front of those supporters.

“We just wanted to show our talents and play our hearts out to get the results we wanted. I think Sundowns will want to dominate and have the ball more. I think coach Rulani emphasises that to the team and I don’t think there will be a change.”

The 39-year-old who spent four trophy-laden years at Sundowns from 2014 to 2018, is now an assistant coach at Motsepe Foundation Championship side Casric Stars.