April 21, 2021

How Orlando Pirates missed out on signing Morris

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The Cape Town-born legend was once on the radar of the Buccaneers but he opted to try his luck abroad

Former Bafana Bafana and SuperSport United defender Nasief Morris has revealed he was once close to signing for Orlando Pirates

This was when Morris was playing for Santos just before he went abroad, after having a discussion with Augusto Palacios who was then coaching the South African U20 national team. 

According to Morris, the desire to play in Europe was enough for him to turn Pirates down even after receiving a call from Dr Irvin Khoza at the time. 

“I few years before I even to Europe… while I was at Santos, Augusto Palacios was my coach at the U20 national team. He asked me if I would be interested in coming to Orlando Pirates. I said to him, ‘definitely, we can look at it’ and things like that,” Morris told Goal.  

“Then suddenly the break for me came when I was invited to come to Greece for a trial.” 

Morris’ response to Khoza was that he would like to go try his luck abroad first and he would come back to join the Sea Robbers if things didn’t go well.

“And I think a week before I left, I got a call from Mr Irvin Khoza himself asking that he spoke to Mr Palacios and he wanted to know if I wanted to come to Orlando Pirates. I said, ‘by all means, I’d like to come but my first goal is that I want to go to Europe. If I don’t make it in Europe, I’ll definitely come to Orlando Pirates,” he recalled.   

“And that was my goal and I made sure when I got the opportunity, I took it.”

The retired defender went on to sign for Aris Thessaloniki in Greece before cementing his legendary status at Panathinaikos. 

Morris spent seven years at Panathinaikos – but he would spend the final two years of his contract on loan at Real Club Recreativo de Huelva and Racing de Santander. 

He returned to South Africa in 2011 to join SuperSport United before returning to the Mother City to reunite with his former club Santos. 

Morris, now 39, retired from professional football in 2017 after three seasons with Milano United.