Aaron Mokoena Biography: Ajax Amsterdam, Genk, International Career, Bafana Bafana

Aaron Mokoena
Early Life and Career Beginnings:

Aaron Mokoena was born on November 25, 1980 in Boipatong, South Africa. He started playing football at a young age, and was quickly noticed for his talent on the pitch. At just 17 years old, he made his debut for Jomo Cosmos in the South African Premier Soccer League.

Career with Ajax Amsterdam:

After impressing in the South African league, Mokoena was signed by Dutch club Ajax Amsterdam in 1999. He spent three seasons with the club, making 62 appearances in all competitions and helping them to win the Eredivisie title in the 2001-2002 season.

timeline of Aaron Mokoena’s career at Ajax:

2000-2001 Season:

Mokoena joined Ajax Amsterdam in 1999 at the age of 18. He spent his first season with the club playing for their reserve team, Jong Ajax. He made a total of 29 appearances for the team, scoring one goal.

2001-2002 Season:

Mokoena’s second season with Ajax proved to be much more successful. He made his debut for the first team on September 1, 2001 in a league match against RKC Waalwijk. He went on to make 25 appearances in all competitions, helping the team win the Eredivisie title.

2002-2003 Season:

Mokoena’s final season with Ajax was a difficult one, as he struggled to break into the starting lineup. He made just eight appearances in all competitions, and at the end of the season he was sold to Belgian club KRC Genk.

Career with KRC Genk:

Mokoena left Ajax in 2002 to join Belgian side KRC Genk. He spent just 2 seasons with the club, making 31 appearances and scoring three goals before moving on to join Blackburn Rovers in the English Premier League.

2003-2005 Seasons:

Mokoena signed for KRC Genk in July 2003, following his departure from Ajax Amsterdam. He quickly established himself as a key player for the club. His strong performances helped Genk finish in third place in the Belgian Pro League in both seasons.

2005-2006 Season:

Mokoena’s third season with Genk proved to be his most successful. He was named club captain and led the team to the Belgian Cup title, scoring in the final against Club Brugge. He also played a key role in the team’s third-place finish in the league, making a total of 32 appearances in all competitions.

Career with Blackburn Rovers:

Mokoena spent three seasons with Blackburn Rovers, establishing himself as a key player in the heart of the team’s defense. He made 86 appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal and helping Blackburn to qualify for the UEFA Cup in the 2006-2007 season.

Career with Portsmouth:

In 2009, Mokoena signed with Portsmouth in the English Premier League. He played for the club for two seasons, making 57 appearances and scoring two goals. Despite the team’s struggles during his time there, Mokoena was a consistent presence in the starting lineup and earned the respect of his teammates and fans.

2009-2010 Season:

Mokoena signed for Portsmouth in July 2009, becoming the first South African to captain an English Premier League team. He made his debut for the club on August 15, 2009 in a 1-0 defeat to Fulham. He went on to make 34 appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal in the League Cup against Hereford United. Portsmouth finished the season in 20th place and were relegated to the Championship.

2010-2011 Season:

Mokoena remained at Portsmouth for the 2010-2011 season, which proved to be a difficult one for the club. They faced financial difficulties and were deducted 10 points for entering administration. Mokoena played a key role in the team, making 32 appearances in all competitions and scoring two goals. Despite their struggles, Portsmouth managed to reach the FA Cup final, where they lost 1-0 to Chelsea. At the end of the season, Mokoena left the club as a free agent.

Return to South Africa:

After a decade in Europe, Mokoena returned to South Africa in 2011 to join Bidvest Wits. He played for the club for two seasons, making 49 appearances and scoring two goals before retiring from professional football in 2013.

International Career:

Mokoena made his debut for the South African national team in 1999, and went on to earn 107 caps for his country over the course of his career. He was a key player in the team that won the 2002 Africa Cup of Nations, and also represented South Africa at the 2008 and 2012 editions of the tournament. Mokoena also played in the 2010 World Cup, helping South Africa to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament as the host nation.

Former Bafana Bafana Captain Aaron Mokoena
Former Bafana Bafana Captain Aaron Mokoena
Personal Life:

Mokoena is married to fellow South African footballer, Thando Mngomeni. The couple have three children together. Mokoena is also known for his philanthropic work, and has been involved in various initiatives aimed at promoting youth development and education in South Africa.

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