Former Orlando Pirates star Benedict Vilakazi compares ‘top player’ Relebohile Mofokeng to legendary Brazil striker

The Bucs legend was impressed by the 19-year-old’s bravery during Nedbank Cup final

Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Benedict ‘Tso’ Vilakazi has heaped praise on the Buccaneers star Relebohile Mofokeng, comparing him to Brazil legend Ronaldo.

Mofokeng was the toast for Pirates last weekend when he scored a last-minute goal to earn his team a 2-1 victory against Mamelodi Sundowns in the Nedbank Cup final as Jose Riveiro’s men defended their title.

It was not just the moment he scored that earned him praise but the technique. Mofokeng received the ball in the box from Monapule Saleng, took Bongani Zungu out, before slotting it in the bottom left corner via a toe poke and Vilakazi is wowed by the bravery shown by the youngster in such a high-pressure moment.

‘If he is there and if it needs a toe, put that toe in’

“As soon as that ball got to him, I knew something would happen,” Vilakazi told iDiski TV.

“I knew because he is not afraid of anything. I thought he was immediately going to try to bend it so when he tried to dribble [Bongani] Zungu I was like uh, then it happens for him and with a toe. That’s top class. You know top players like Ronaldo of Brazil they didn’t care when they were in that position, if he is there and if it needs a toe, put that toe in.”

Mofokeng had surprisingly started the match on the bench but with Sundowns dictating proceedings before Themba Zwane gave them a 54th minute lead, Riveiro introduced the 19-year-old after which Pirates got a penalty, slotted in by Patrick Maswanganyi.

First Bafana Bafana call-up for Mofokeng

“I was so surprised why he didn’t start the game because this boy has been on song that we are still singing his name and where we need to dance the boy is not there. But the coach introduced him later,” Vilakazi said of Mofokeng’s omission from the starting XI.

It is high praise for Mofokeng who earned his first Bafana Bafana call-up for the upcoming 2026 World Cup qualifiers against Nigeria and Zimbabwe.

The School of Excellence graduate scored five goals and provided six assists in 38 games in all competitions in 2023-24, winning two trophies, and he can now turn attention to international duties, hoping to be involved at some point.

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Joel Oliver

Joel Oliver is a seasoned multimedia sports journalist with a rich background in covering diverse football stories and events in South Africa and beyond.

His extensive coverage spans subjects touching on the PSL, with a focus on the Big Three (Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs & Mamelodi Sundowns), Bafana Bafana and Banyana Banyana.