Diego Maradona GOAT Messi Ronaldo

Diego Maradona in action for Napoli. Image: BackpagePix

Who was the last player to wear number 10 for Orlando Pirates?

Iconic numbers need to be donned by iconic talents.

Diego Maradona GOAT Messi Ronaldo

Diego Maradona in action for Napoli. Image: BackpagePix

The number 10 jersey is a fabled thing in the beautiful game. Jomo Sono wore the jersey with distinction at Orlando Pirates for half a decade, and now there’s a new candidate.

Pirates haven’t had a great number 10 for a while

Jomo Sono is a giant name in South African football. The flashy star spent five entertaining years with Orlando Pirates before embarking on a North American adventure. Steve Lekolea tried on his number 10 jersey but nobody can do it like Jomo. More recently, Vincent Pule had a short spell with the jersey in 2020/21 but the number 10 has become more or less extinct. There has been some fan clamour for it to be given to Relebohile Mofokeng. To bestow an honour of this magnitude on the player could be seen as a burden but supporters believe Mofokeng can carry it on his shoulders.

South African stars in MLS
Jomo Sono. Image: @soccerladuma / X.

Mofokeng is ready to shine

Relebohile Mofokeng has been a revelation for Pirates this season, excelling off the left-hand side of an attacking midfield trio behind Tshegofatso Mabasa. Originally a number 10, he’s shown his technical level and ability to adapt to different systems and game states. This form has alerted some big European suitors. The diminutive 19-year-old has three goals and five assists from 23 league appearances this term. He looks at home in the spotlight and that speaks volumes for his frighteningly advanced maturity levels. Seemingly unfazed by the pressure, Mofokeng now has admirers further afield.

“Reports from Scouts in Attendance claim Rangers are one of several European teams interested in Orlando Pirates winger Relebohile Mofokeng,” Rangers Review reported.

“They report that the Ibrox club are keeping tabs on the emerging talent, aged 19. He has already caught the eye of clubs in England. He had a trial at Premier League side Wolves before being offered the chance to impress at Reading.

“Al-Ahly and Red Bull Salzburg are among the other clubs who hold an interest,” the report added about the Bucs starlet.

Orlando Pirates Mofokeng
Relebohile Mofokeng with Orlando Pirates against Chippa United at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium. Image: BackpagePix

Number 10s, young and old

What do Lionel Messi, Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, Dennis Bergkamp, Neymar, Ronaldinho and Jay-Jay Okocha have in common? You know what the answer is. The number 10 jersey is revered, adored, lusted after and deserved by only the best and most creative talents in the business. Relebohile Mofokeng, this talented inverted winger blessed with natural football intelligence and directness, is ready.

Diego Maradona
Photo: Archive


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