Aaron Tebomo Mokoena is a South African footballer midfielder who plays for Portsmouth. Mainly a Defensive and Central Midfielder, Mokoena can also play as an emergency Centre-Back.
He moved to Bayer Leverkusen and Ajax, before loaning out to Germinal Beerschot, and again finding himself captain of a squad.
Mokoena made his Blackburn debut on 8 January 2005, against Cardiff City in the FA Cup as a 43rd minute substitute for Barry Ferguson and 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 Blackburn manager Mark Hughes as part of 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, which never brought out the best in the player. His less than impressive performances in this formation, lead to Mokoena being held as a heroic figure among some fans. From then on, he 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 Rovers' games in 2007 and he scored his first goal for Blackburn Rovers in an FA Cup 6th round victory against Manchester City on 11 March 2007.
However, he was later sent off in the game after getting a second yellow card. He scored his second and final Blackburn goal against Sunderland in February 2009, again in the FA Cup.
Mokoena played his final game for Blackburn Rovers on 24 May 2009. On the same day he announced he would join Portsmouth on a three-year contract. He scored his first goal for Portsmouth in the last minute of extra time to give them victory over Coventry City in the FA Cup on 12 January 2010.
"Mbazo" or "The Axe", known because of his tough tackling as shown on his Bafana Bafana team mate Steven Pienaar during the Everton-Portsmouth match, is the youngest ever player to have represented South Africa, having played in 1999 for the 2000 Summer Olympics qualifiers, and proceeding to make a worthy replacement for Lucas Radebe as captain of his country.
In January 2008, Mokoena captained his South African side in the African Nations Cup which was held in Ghana, due to his impressive form in all three games he played in, it was reported that he would be a summer target for several European sides such as Manchester City, his former club Ajax and Schalke 04.
On 16 March 2009, Mokoena announced that he would not be signing a new contract with Blackburn, which expired at the end of the season due to a lack of playing time.