The 54-year-old also told Goal that Amakhosi can take advantage of the fatigue factor against the most successful club in African football
Former Bafana Bafana international John Tlale says a win for Kaizer Chiefs in Saturday’s Caf Champions League final would eclipse Orlando Pirates’ 1995 continental triumph.
Chiefs will carry the hopes of South Africa when they lock horns with defending champions Al Ahly of Egypt in a highly anticipated final at Stade Mohammed V in Morocco.
Pirates became the first South African club to win the Champions League title 26 years ago and they were honoured by the first State President of the new democratic South Africa, Nelson Mandela.
Since then, Mamelodi Sundowns have joined Pirates as the only Southern Hemisphere clubs to have won the prestigious title when Masandawana lifted it in 2016 under the guidance of current Al Ahly coach Pitso Mosimane.
Tlale would rank a Chiefs continental triumph higher than Pirates’ win because of the quality of their opposition in the final, after the retired goalkeeper was part of the Sundowns team which lost to Al Ahly in the 2001 final.
“Yes, I think so, because Al Ahly have dominated African football for many years. They have won many Caf Champions League titles over the years,” Tlale told Goal.
“So, it would be a bigger achievement by Chiefs. For Sundowns, we were unfortunate against Al Ahly, but at least the club managed to win it after defeating Al Ahly’s close rivals Zamalek in their next final.”
Pirates clinched the Champions League trophy after they defeated Ivorian giants ASEC Mimosas 3-2 on aggregate in a two-legged final, with Jerry Sikhosana’s goal in the second-leg clash proving decisive.
The Buccaneers then reached the final for the second time in 2013 and they were thrashed 3-1 by an Al Ahly side which was inspired by Egyptian legend Mohamed Aboutrika.
Chiefs will return to action for the first time since June 26 when they drew 0-0 with Morocco’s Wydad Casablanca in the semi-final second-leg match, while Al Ahly have played four Egyptian Premier League matches within that time period.
“Yeah, they [Chiefs] will be rusty because of lack of matches during the break that they had,” Tlale, who was on the books of Pirates between 2002 and 2004, said.
“However, if you look at it from a different perspective, they can take advantage of the fact that Al Ahly have played a lot of games.
“Al Ahly players might go into the final feeling exhausted due to the matches they have been playing and Chiefs can take advantage of that.”