Aaron Mokoena

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Aaron Mokoena
Personal information
Full name Teboho Aaron Mokoena[1]
Date of birth (1980-11-25) 25 November 1980 (age 42)[1]
Place of birth Boipatong, South Africa
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Position(s) Defensive midfielder, centre back
Youth career
Jomo Cosmos
Bayer Leverkusen
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2003 Ajax 7 (0)
2001Germinal Beerschot (loan) 12 (1)
2002Germinal Beerschot (loan) 29 (1)
2003–2005 KRC Genk 32 (1)
2005–2009 Blackburn Rovers 101 (0)
2009–2012 Portsmouth 77 (2)
2012–2013 Bidvest Wits 14 (0)
Total 272 (5)
National team
South Africa U-23
1999–2010 South Africa 107 (1)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Teboho Aaron Mokoena /ˌmɒkˈɛnə/ (born 25 November 1980), known as Aaron Mokoena, is a South African former footballer. He is currently the assistant coach of Cape Town City.[2]

Club career[edit]

Early career[edit]

Mokoena was born in Boipatong. He moved to Bayer Leverkusen and Ajax, before twice being loaned out to Germinal Beerschot and then transferring to KRC Genk for two years. On 4 January 2005, aged 24 he moved to Premier League side Blackburn Rovers in which he described his move as a dream.

Blackburn Rovers[edit]

Mokoena made his debut for Blackburn on 8 January 2005 in an FA Cup match against Cardiff City, coming on as a 43rd-minute substitute for Barry Ferguson. After this, Mark Hughes mainly utilised Mokoena as a holding midfielder. Mokoena went on to be a regular in the starting line-up for the remainder of the season, appearing 22 times in total. He was used by Hughes as the holding midfielder in a three-man midfield in a defensive 4–5–1 formation, a move which saw Blackburn concede fewer goals and move away from relegation danger.

Hughes later reverted to a 4–4–2 formation. From then on, Mokoena found himself used sparingly as a holding midfielder in his favoured 4–5–1 formation as a second-half substitute, charged with protecting leads in games in which Blackburn were winning. With Robbie Savage out injured for Rovers, Mokoena started most of the team's games in 2007 and he scored his first goal for Blackburn in an FA Cup 6th round victory against Manchester City on 11 March 2007. However, he was later sent off after getting a second yellow card.[3] He scored his second and final Blackburn goal against Sunderland in February 2009, again this time in the FA Cup replay in Rovers' 2–1 win at Ewood Park which was also voted as goal of the season for the 2008–09 season.[4] Mokoena played his final game for Blackburn Rovers on 24 May 2009 against West Bromwich Albion at Ewood Park in the 0–0 draw.


On 24 May 2009, Mokoena announced he would be joining fellow Premier League outfit Portsmouth on a three-year deal.[5] He scored his first goal for Portsmouth in the last minute of extra time to give them victory over Coventry City at the Ricoh Arena in the dying seconds in the FA Cup third round replay on 12 January 2010. Mokoena played a major part in the games against Coventry, Sunderland, South Coast rivals Southampton, Birmingham and Tottenham.[6] He stated that he desired the move to secure regular football, especially in the run up to the 2010 World Cup held in South Africa his native.

Mokoena scored his first league goal in English football (having previously scored three in the FA Cup) when he netted on 58 minutes and completed the full 90 minutes in a 3–1 victory over Bristol City at Fratton Park on 28 September 2010.[7]

On 28 October 2010, Mokoena signed a new two-and-a-half-year deal with Pompey lasting until summer 2013. He made 70 appearances and has scored three goals for Portsmouth in all competitions. On 18 June 2011, he said that he could be leaving Portsmouth because he has been very frustrated at being on the bench on a regular basis.[8]

Following Portsmouth going into administration in February 2012 and the club's subsequent relegation into the third-tier Football League One, Mokoena was identified a potential key player to leave due to his relatively high salary. During this time Mokoena was strongly linked with a transfer to Bidvest Wits and did not show up to the first day of pre-season training. On 10 July, Portsmouth manager Michael Appleton stated that he believed Mokoena would leave Portsmouth within 24 hours.[9]

On 12 July 2012, Mokoena agreed a contract termination with Portsmouth.[10]

Bidvest Wits[edit]

On 11 July 2012 Mokoena completed his move from Portsmouth to Bidvest Wits. On 20 July, he was officially presented at his new club.[11]


Mokoena is known as "Mbazo" or "The Axe" because of his tough tackling skills. He is the youngest ever player to have represented South Africa,[12] having played in 1999 for the 2000 Summer Olympics qualifiers aged 18–19; he later replaced Lucas Radebe as captain of his country. He played for South Africa at the 2000 Olympics, where they finished third in Group D.

Mokoena also played at the 2002 and 2004 Africa Cup of Nations. In January 2008, Mokoena captained South Africa in the 2008 Africa Cup of Nations in Ghana. He retained the captaincy for the 2009 Confederations Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup, both held in his homeland. On 31 May 2010, he was named in South Africa's 23-man World Cup squad.

He won his 100th cap against Guatemala in Polokwane in a 5–0 win on 3 May 2010, and celebrated by taking to the field wearing the number 100 on the back of his shirt. On 11 June 2010, he captained Bafana Bafana in the opening group game against Mexico of the 2010 World Cup and also played the full 90 minutes alongside Bongani Khumalo in a 1–1 draw in Johannesburg. On 16 June 2010, Mokoena again skippered the Bafana Bafana this time in their 3–0 defeat by Uruguay at the Loftus Versfeld Stadium. On 22 June, he started in the 2–1 win over France at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein. As of 2012, Mokoena has won 107 caps for his country and has scored 1 goal since debuting back in 1999.[13]

International goals[edit]

Scores and results list South Africa's goal tally first, score column indicates score after Mokoena goal.
International goal scored by Aaron Mokoena
No. Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 8 October 2006 Lusaka, Zambia  Zambia 1–0 1–0 ACN qualifier

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010: List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. 4 June 2010. p. 28. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 June 2010. Retrieved 16 June 2010.
  2. ^ "Aaron Mokoena: Ex-Bafana Bafana captain joins Cape Town City | Goal.com". www.goal.com. Retrieved 8 January 2021.
  3. ^ "Blackburn 2–0 Man City". BBC. 11 March 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  4. ^ "Blackburn 2–1 Sunderland (aet)". BBC. 4 February 2009. Retrieved 3 November 2009.
  5. ^ "Pompey chimes for Mokoena". www.Rovers.co.uk. Blackburn Rovers F.C. 24 May 2009. Archived from the original on 27 May 2009. Retrieved 14 June 2009.
  6. ^ "Coventry 1 – 2 Portsmouth". BBC. 12 January 2010. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
  7. ^ "Portsmouth 3 – 1 Bristol City". BBC Sport. 28 September 2010.
  8. ^ "Mokoena signs new deal". Portsmouth F.C. 28 October 2010. Archived from the original on 31 October 2010.
  9. ^ "READY TO ACT - Pompey Past - Portsmouth News". Archived from the original on 13 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
  10. ^ Mokoena Agrees Fratton Exit Archived 15 July 2012 at the Wayback Machine; Portsmouth F.C., 12 July 2012. Retrieved 12 July 2012
  11. ^ Bidvest Wits Strengthens Squad Archived 21 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine; Bidvest Wits' official website, 20 July 2012. Retrieved 26 July 2012
  12. ^ Aaron Mokoena: Ein großer Moment
  13. ^ "World Cup 2010: Aaron Mokoena marks landmark in SA win". BBC Sport. 31 May 2010. Retrieved 22 January 2011.

External links[edit]