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LEGEND CATCH UP WITH SIAKA TIENE Author: Zola DodaTwo decades ago, Dr. Patrice Motsepe acquired Mamelodi Sundowns Football Club with a clear vision to transform the South African club into the premier team in Africa and a force glabally. Among the key signings that played a pivotal role in realising this vision was the Ivory Coast international, Siaka Tiene. Starting his career with ASEC Abidjan, Tiene joined Sundowns and spent two seasons at the club before moving to Europe join French Ligue 1 side Saint-Ettiene. The 41-year-old, who is part of the CAF / AFCON delegation for the 2023 Africa Cup Nations tournament in Ivory Coast sat down with the Mamelodi Sundowns Digital Magazine crew to reflect on his time at Chloorkop and also discussed the upcoming Africa Cup Nations tournament. On some of the guys that you still keep in touch with… When I was there, Mamelodi Sundowns was like a family for me and it still is. Some of the former team mates that I still keep in contact with and play with are Mambush Mudau and Surprise Moriri. I'm still in contact with Peter Ndlovu, Spider Baloyi, and Esrom Nyandoro.On Sundowns winning the AFL Sundowns now have reached the top of Africa because they have a good vision. So, it’s natural for me to say Sundowns is the best club in Africa. This was all the vision of then President, Dr Patrice Motsepe. When I was there, it was always on his mind to make Sundowns the best club in Africa, he did everything for that to happen and I’m not surprised that Sundowns is on top.Siaka TieneOn Coach Rulani Mokwena winning the African Football League Coach Rulani is doing a very good job because we can see how Sundowns plays. The vision of President Patrice Motsepe was to put Sundowns on top – Coach Rulani was the best choice to ensure that it happens – he is doing a great job. I’m happy to see that the team is doing greater things since I left.On meeting some of the Sundowns legends like Kennedy Mweene, Peter Ndovu in Zambia recently and receiving a gift from the Chairman Tlhopie Motsepe… Mamelodi Sundowns is a family and I continue to be part of this family. I was so glad to receive the jersey from the Chairman, Mr Tlhopie Motsepe. I was glad to receive the gift from him and I also want to say congratulations to him because he is doing a great job.On Cote d’Ivoire hosting the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations… Hosting this prestigious tournament is good news for all the Ivorian people. We are hosting this tournament for the second time and I’m happy that tournament is back in Ivory Coast. I hope this Cup will remain in Ivory Coast; I really hope so. I can also say that, it’s not going to be easy because there are good teams all over Africa. I wish them a good tournament. But I can’t say who will win because I’m part of the CAF / AFCON delegation. I can’t say who will win but I can wish all the teams a good tournament. The Ivorian people want the cup to stay here in Ivory Coast.On some of the players we must look forward to in AFCON There also lots of good players we have from different teams. Peter Shalulile from Namibia. He has done well at Sundowns and now he wants to show that he can also do it for his country. There are many players who will showcase their talents. There also lots of players from Ivory Coast like Frank Kessié, Serge Aurier, Karim Konate – Ivory Coasty have a lot of names but the most important thing is having a good team. On 2024 wishes I grew up in soccer, what the game did for me I have to give back. I have to share my experience what I learnt from the game and that is why I’m part of the CAF delegation at this AFCON. I had seven Africa Cup of Nations as a player – the eighth one when I was the team manager of the Ivory Coast National Team and ninth as part of CAF delegation. I have nine AFCON experience overall and I want to show people what I can do. Football is our life and we are doing better because of the game. We are committed to the game.