Aaron Mokoena

Aaron Mokoena

Fact Box

Born: 25/11/1980 in Boipatong
Nationality: South Africa South Africa
International Caps: 101 (1 goal)
International Debut: 20/2/1999 vs Botswana

2018/19 Playing Statistics

  Total Mins Played Apps Starts Subbed On Subbed Off Goals Assists Yellows Reds
All 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

South Africa’s record caps holder and the first to reach 100 for his country, he is also the youngest player to feature for Bafana Bafana at the age of 18 years, two months and 26 days, beating Quinton Fortune’s record by more than a year.

It could have been even earlier as he was included in the squad for the 1998 African Nations Cup finals at the age of 17, but did not play in any of the matches in Burkina Faso as Bafana ended runners-up to Egypt.

He has, however, competed in the 2002, 2004 and 2008 Nations Cup finals, but missed out on the 2006 event after a much-publicised row with then caretaker coach Ted Dumitru, who called him a coward and unpatriotic after Mokoena briefly retired from international football ahead of the finals.

Dumitru claimed this was because he had stripped him of the captaincy, a role the defender first took up in 2004 against Burkina Faso.

Born in Boipatong, he was a junior footballer at Real Rangers, but started his professional career at Jomo Cosmos. He soon moved to Europe though and was the subject of a tug-of-war between Ajax Amsterdam in the Netherlands and German club Bayer Leverkusen. It was settled when the Dutch club paid US$1-million (R7.5-million) for him.

He played at 2000 Sydney Olympics for the Under-23 team, for whom he won 32 caps, alongside the likes of Matthew Booth, Benni McCarthy and Fortune, and he was then loaned by Ajax to Belgian side Germinal Beerschot in early 2001 and later sold to the club.

He signed for Racing Genk in 2003, the current club of compatriot Anele Ngcongca, and after two successful years there was sold to English Premiership club Blackburn Rovers in January 2005.

He was largely used in the midfield in England, a position he has never been comfortable with, but still managed moderate success with Rovers, before signing a three-year contract with fellow Premiership side Portsmouth in May 2009.

On 11 July 2012, Mokoena completed a move back to South Africa, signing with Bidvest Wits.

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