Ex-Orlando Pirates midfielder Makola reflects on losing eight cup finals

The former Bafana Bafana international recalls a career that saw him turn out for Free State Stars, Bucs and now Cape Town

Cape Town midfielder Mpho Makola admitted that there were things he would do differently if he had the chance, although he has no regrets about how his career has turned out so far.

Makola is considered among the country’s finest talents – talented technically, with tactical skill and is a magnificent passer of the ball, although he has little to show for a player of his ability.

The 34-year-old spent seven seasons at the Orlando Pirates after coming from the Free State Stars, where he began his career in 2009 as a 23-year-old.

“I think my time at Pirates had been more beautiful had won all the cup finals we lost,” he said Goal.

“But the first time I put on the Pirates jersey that played in the Carling Black Label against the Kaizer Chiefs was a special day and is still a special memory.

“Being in the same field as Benni McCarthy then and playing behind him was also special.

“There are so many beautiful memories I created there. The free kick against Zanaco at FNB Stadium to take us to the Caf Champions League semi-final where we met Tout Puissant Mazembe and went all the way to the final is also on top of my memories.

“But we also have many cup finals, which is something that cannot be described.

“You never get used to losing a cup final. I mean you do all the spadework and then losing in the last hurdle was heartbreaking.

“When I look back, it’s just one of the eight we lost where we deserved to lose. The 4-1 loss to SuperSport [United] in Durban we were below par, but in the others we just missed luck.

“If we won them, I think my trophy cabinet would be one of the most decorated.”

Makola also revealed that he had a chance to go to Europe once and did not take it, while feeling that he could have added more Bafana Bafana hats.

“As for my career, I have no regrets in it,” added the Alexander-born midfielder.

“But at the same time, I feel like if I had the opportunity to do certain things, I would do them differently.

“When I had the opportunity to go abroad, I think I would have left. I’ll take it this time.

“I also think it was a time in the national team when I did well and was a regular. Then I stopped doing what I did before. I started doing other things and I think my achievements dropped and I also lost my place in the national team .

“There were times where I felt I played well and the conversation never came but it eventually came, and I am grateful that I got a chance to represent the national team even though I feel I could have played more games than I did.

“So I think if I had to do things I would do a lot of things differently.”

The talented midfielder has been dropped 11 times for Bafana and scored twice.

He lost eight cup finals – including the Caf Champions League and the Caf Confederation Cup final – and finished as PSL two on two occasions, winning only one league trophy.