Orlando Pirates FC is the South African soccer club that is playing in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) of South Africa. This team was formed in 1937 in Soweto and is regarded as one of the oldest teams in the country. The team’s offices are in Parktown, Johannesburg.
Orlando Pirates is the only team in the whole of Southern African Region which won the CAF Champions League in 1995 and they also lost in the finals of the same competition in 2013 to Al Ahly of Egypt. This team also played the final of the CAF Confederations Cup. This is the only team in the region to achieve the above.
Currently, Orlando Pirates is the only successful team in South Africa when it comes to competing in CAF competitions. They are the only team who treats the CAF competitions seriously in South Africa. Whenever they get a chance to participate, they make sure they reach the finals, if not winning the competitions.
This team commands a lot of respect in all African countries. Wherever they go in the continent, they receive much respected support from soccer fans. Wherever you go in Africa, people will tell you that in South Africa they only know Orlando Pirates. Even giants like Al Ahly of Egypt, Zamalek also from Egypt, TP Mazembe from DRC, Esperance from Tunisia, and Raja Casablanca of Morocco, they all respect Orlando Pirates.
A lot of people and other soccer teams in South Africa respect Orlando Pirates for their display during the CAF competitions. Only Kaizer Chiefs fans don’t like Orlando Pirates’ success in CAF competitions. They even support all Pirates’ opposition teams during the CAF competitions. This is the rivalry that has been going on since Kaizer Chiefs was formed. They will argue with you that Orlando Pirates is the only respected team from the Southern African Region. Even if you put statistics in front of them, they will never agree with you.
The Pirates management is always in full support to the team whenever they participate in the CAF competitions. Even when the team travels to unstable African countries, they never hesitate to compete in the CAF competitions. For this reason, they always do well in these competitions.
If all other teams in South Africa, especially teams like Kaizer Chiefs, Mamelodi Sundowns, and Supersport United, should do well in CAF competitions, it will be a good boost for our national team Bafana Bafana. If we can manage to have competitive teams in the CAF competitions, we would not be ranked so low currently as we will have enough experienced players to choose from.
Surprisingly Orlando Pirates is currently ranked 28th in the latest CAF club rankings. Mamelodi Sundowns is ranked number 7, with Kaizer Chiefs at number 12, and Bidvest Wits at number 23. One should ask CAF officials to explain the methods they imply to rank these teams, because to me, Orlando Pirates is supposed to rank above any other team in South Africa. How can the team be the best in their region and not be the best in CAF ranking? Whatever method they are using to rank these teams does not give a clear indication of who should be ranked where.