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Bosso's brilliant performances attracts the attention of Jose Mourinho

by Staff reporter
07 Aug 2023 at 06:38hrs | Views
HIGHLANDERS' brilliant start to the campaign under Portuguese coach Baltemar Brito has attracted the attention of legendary Chelsea and Manchester United manager, Jose Mourinho.

Bosso, whose unbeaten run also won them the plaudits of President Mnangagwa last week, have been invincible in 2023 under the tutelage of the Brazilian-born Portuguese football manager.

Brito was last week unveiled as the Castle Lager Premiership Coach for the Month of July following a near perfect run that saw Bosso opening a seven-point lead at the top of the table, by the time the league reached the mid-season. Mourinho sent a special video message to giants Highlanders ahead of their trip to ZPC Kariba on Saturday, which ended in a goalless draw at Nyamhunga.

"The Special One," who previously worked with Brito as his assistant during some of his most successful years in two decades of coaching, wished Bosso well as the Bulawayo giants look to end a 17-year title drought.

"Hello everyone at Highlanders. I'm sending you a message because Mr Brito is my brother," said Mourinho in a short video.

"We fought together for many years. We won many trophies together. He will always be my brother and I'm so happy that he is doing a great job with you guys at Highlanders.

"You are on top of the league. Hopefully you Highlanders can also have an impact and help the future of the Zimbabwe national team. So, all the best for you guys and three more points."

Bosso had won six matches on the trot before the trip to Kariba where they duplicated the result from the reverse fixture against the Kariba side that is reviving under new coach Luke Masomere.

Bosso's lead was, however, slashed down to five points after second-placed Ngezi Platinum Stars emerged 1-0 winners over plucky Bulawayo Chiefs at Baobab on Saturday.

The race for the championship is still intense as Ngezi Platinum Stars moved to 33 points while Bosso are now on 38, with the campaign having now entered the second round.

Brito's effect at Highlanders cannot be underestimated. The Bulawayo giants last won the title in 2006 under Methembe Ndlovu and have found it difficult to compete with the Premiership's well-oiled Young Turks in recent years.

But Brito promised to re-awake "the sleeping giant" of Zimbabwean football. In one of his earliest press conferences, he said:

"It's a pleasure and I am proud to be part of Highlanders as head coach. I hope to find the team strong and with character. I want to put the club where it belongs; that is in the first position on the league table. We can only archive this by working hard because ours is not a long contract.

"The club has been sick as it has not won the league title since 2006. For a club with such history and supporters not winning means, it is sick and we are here to help the club get better and awaken this sleeping giant," he added.

Under the guidance of Brito, Bosso has charmed many as they have gone for an 18-game unbeaten streak. The black and white army also boasts of a mean defence that has only been breached four times.

The 71-year-old is a UEFA Pro coaching licence holder, proving his vast experience, having worked as Mourinho's assistant coach at FC Porto in Portugal, Chelsea in England, and Inter Milan in Italy.

Brito has won two UEFA Champions League titles, one UEFA Cup, two English Premier League titles, two Portuguese League titles, two Italian Championships, and one FA cup among other cups in his coaching career.

Apparently, Brito and Mourinho share a long history dating back to their playing days at Portuguese side Rio Ave in the early 1980s before teaming up later in life and winning the UEFA Champions League with Portuguese giants Porto and several other silverware.

They parted ways in 2007. Previously, Mourinho has also recommended Brito as a good coach.

Speaking shortly after the tactician had arrived at Bosso, Mourinho said: "I am speaking from my heart to say that Brito was a fantastic assistant that I had for many years at Porto, Chelsea, and he was my direct collaborator also at Real Madrid.

"We just stopped working together because of his desire to be a head coach, which I accept perfectly. Very honest guy, organised, and very good in his relationship with the players.

"I will put my reputation on the line to say he is ready to take any job and for sure the quality of his work will not be a surprise. It will be a fantastic thing for the club that chooses him."

President Mnangagwa last week congratulated Bulawayo giants Highlanders on their unbeaten run in the Castle Lager Premier Soccer League this season.

Bosso are the only team still to taste defeat in the league this season. They have won 10 games, drawn eight and lost none.

Highlanders' good run charmed the President who congratulated the country's oldest surviving side for the good run.

There was more sweet news for Bulawayo and its football lovers when the President Mnangagwa announced that Barbourfields Stadium will be refurbished with the assistance of the Government.

Speaking at the Cowdray Park Star Rally attended by thousands, the President drew large cheers when he announced that the city's biggest and third largest stadium in Zimbabwe will get a facelift.

He said the sprucing up of Barbourfields Stadium is one of their top priorities.

"We are refurbishing Barbourfields Stadium, the home of Highlanders FC, the home of Highlanders, who are doing very well this season with 17 games unbeaten in the league. Amhlophe Highlanders iBosso yi Bosso. Congratulations Bosso," said the President to deafening applause from the crowd, one of the biggest ever witnessed in the city.

Source - The Herald