Mofokeng urged to take bold Messi-like move – Orlando Pirates have given him an opportunity

Former Orlando Pirates striker James Mothibi believes Relebohile Mofokeng can emulate Lionel Messi and make a move abroad once he gets a suitable team that can help in developing him and shaping his career.

There have been massive discussions about the future of the teenager who excelled for the Sea Robbers in the 2023/24 season. The 19-year-old scored five goals and provided six assists in the 38 games he played across all competitions.

The attacker made his Bafana Bafana debut in the 2026 Fifa World Cup qualifier against Zimbabwe. 

Everything is currently working in favour of Mofokeng, explaining why he has been linked with a move to Europe despite his tender age. The Bucs player is open to taking the challenge, arguing he has what it takes to be successful.

Relebohile Mofokeng South Africa

The Spain tour – Mothobi challenges Mofokeng to make an impact

Bucs are set to visit Spain in pre-season, where they will play La Liga outfit Sevilla in preparations for a busy 2024/25 campaign.

Ex-Pirates forward Mothibi is convinced Mofokeng can excel in Europe just like Argentina legend Lionel Messi who joined Barcelona early in his teens.

“The objective for Pirates is to give these players opportunities at the highest level,” the 46-year-old told SNL24.

“Talented youngsters like Relebohile Mofokeng are set to benefit from these kinds of trips. For him and others, it is an opportunity to be seen by the Spanish clubs and clubs from elsewhere in the world.

“Messi was signed as a 12-year-old at Barcelona, and if there is an opportunity for Rele to be signed by a big European club at 19, then let it be. These high-profile friendlies attract interest from coaches and scouts from around the world and therefore it is an opportunity for the Pirates players to be scouted,” Mothobi concluded.

Another task coming – Cosafa glory up next?

Mofokeng is among the players included in Coach Helman Mkhalele's preliminary Bafana Bafana squad for the Cosafa Cup to be held from June 26 to July 7 in South Africa.

A total of 12 teams will be competing for the annual honours; the hosts are in Group A alongside Botswana, Mozambique and Eswatini. 

The Bucs will heavily rely on Mofokeng especially in the attacking department, hoping to go all the way after falling in the semi-final in the initial campaign. 

Mofokeng urged to take bold Messi-like move – Orlando Pirates have given him an opportunity
Willis Sob

Willis Sob is an experienced journalist who has been in the game since 2009, covering major assignments around the continent.
His hunger for African football is unmatched, always getting the best angles and facts to feed the fans and quench their thirst.