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Page last updated at 10:17 GMT, Tuesday, 4 August 2009 11:17 UK

Mokoena explains Pompey move

Aaron Mokoena
Mokoena dreams of leading South Africa at the World Cup next year

Aaron Mokoena has revealed he was forced to quit Blackburn Rovers and join Premier League rivals Portsmouth to preserve his dream of captaining South Africa at the 2010 World Cup.

Mokoena will have the honour of leading out Bafana Bafana when the competition is played on African soil for the first time next year.

The 28-year-old midfielder feared staying at Blackburn would put his place in Joel Santana's line-up in jeopardy after starting only nine league games last season.

The World Cup is coming, I need to be playing as much as I can

Aaron Mokoena

Mokoena, who has signed a three-year contract with Portsmouth, said: "South Africa staging the World Cup is a dream come true but it starts now with Pompey.

"I need to do the business with the team and move onto the national team.

"I need to work hard to earn my place, we all do. We cannot take our places for granted just because we are the host nation.

"The World Cup is coming, I need to be playing as much as I can. It's all about working hard and showing the manager that I really want to be in the team."

Mokoena expects the World Cup to be a resounding success and has called on South Africa's neighbours to show their support.

"We are not only representing South Africa, we are representing the African continent," he said.

"It's not only about South Africa, we need all the support we can get from African countries. This is important for all of us, we are carrying the flag.

"We realise the world is watching - but I'm sure we'll be ready to make sure it becomes a successful World Cup in Africa.

"We have all seen the World Cup, it is our chance to be part of that now and to host it is fantastic. It is a great challenge both on and off the pitch."

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see also
Mokoena makes Portsmouth switch
24 May 09 |  Portsmouth
Blades miss out on Mokoena deal
05 Feb 09 |  Sheff Utd
South Africa wait on Mokoena
11 Jun 08 |  African
Is South Africa ready for 2010?
11 Jun 09 |  Football

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