Former Orlando Pirates midfielder Lebohang 'Cheeseboy' Mokoena has revealed opened up regarding the potential overseas he missed out on during his heydays.
Mokoena, who is currently on the books at Moroka Swallows, was only 16 years old when the Spanish team showed interest in him, but the move never materialised as Pirates advised him to stay after promoting him to the first team.
"That was the time when I had the opportunity of joining Deportivo La Coruna after they spotted me playing in a tournament in France for Jomo Cosmos," Mokoena said as quoted by KickOff.
"Deportivo wanted me to leave Pirates on the spot but at that time I had not signed a professional contract yet.
"When I came back, I was offered a first-team contract and the chairman (Irvin Khoza) told me that before I go overseas, I need to start here first and build my brand, then in years to come I will then leave.
"At that age, all you care about is bettering your skills. I could feel there was something different about Europe compared to what we had back home, and I felt the urge to play there.
"When Bra J (Jomo Sono) was told about Deportivo, there was nothing he could do because I was a Pirates player, so he referred them to Pirates.
"That was the last I heard of it, plus I never followed it up because my mind also changed when I started playing in the [Pirates] first team."
Mokoena made 35 appearances for Pirates, scoring one goal and providing four assists, before moving on to Masandawana where he played 89 games and scored 11 goals from midfield and produced 13 assists.
"Maybe it wasn't meant to be because all my deals to Deportivo, Al Ahly (Egypt), Auxerre, Strasbourg (both France) and Benfica (Portugal) never happened.
"Benfica showed interest in me after I played for Bafana Bafana against Mexico at the CONCACAF Gold Cup (in 2005), but nothing happened because Pirates requested that I return early to come and play in the Vodacom Challenge."