Noko Matlou profile

Banyana Banyana player Noko Matlou is enjoying the benefits of switching from being a striker to a defender.

Noko Matlou (born 30 September 1985) is a South African soccer player. She plays as a defender of Spanish Primera Federación side SD Eibar and the South Africa Women’s National team.

The Confederation of African Football named Matlou “African Women’s Footballer of the Year” in 2008. She became the first South African footballer to earn the title.

Matlou was named the African Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2008, making her the first South African. 

Noko Matlou
Noko Matlou biography
Noko Matlou plays as a defender for Spanish Primera Federación side SD Eibar.
Short Profile
Full Name:Noko Matlou
Born:30 September 1985 (age 37 years old)
Place of Birth:Moletjie, Polokwane
Nationality:South African
Occupation:Soccer player
Height:1.72 m
Position:Striker / Defender
Current team:Eibar

Early Life

Noko Matlou was born on 30 September 1985 in Moletjie, Polokwane Municipality, South Africa. She came from a village and grew up on a diet of pap and spinach.

The footballer had to give up some traditional staple foods she grew up eating to have longevity in her football career.


Matlou has played for many clubs like Development Ladies and Brazilian Ladies. She also has played for the University of Johannesburg. Her performance earned her the nickname Beep-Beep within the football circles.

To improve performance and football skills, she often trains with male footballers. When she is training with the women, she often outplays them.

In 2021, she joined the Spanish Primera Federación side SD Eibar as a defender. She is also a part of the MaIndies F.C. squad.

In December 2006, she appeared first for the South African Women’s National Football Team (Banyana Banyana).

A referee had to inspect her in the presence of the opposition captain in a match against Ghana at Caledonian Stadium, Pretoria, in 2009. After confirming her to be a woman, the referee allowed her to play.

At the 2008 African Women’s Championship, she scored six goals for the national team. She often makes it to the South African squad to represent them in many tournaments. She played for the country at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, United Kingdom.

In 2014, coach Vera Pauw changed Matlou’s position from striker to defender. After playing as a forward for many years, her breakthrough happened when she moved to the defense. She clinched a transfer to Spanish club SD Eibar.

The Spanish club watched her playing at the Women’s World Cup, and they needed a player like her. 

Since her move to the La Liga side, Noko has had to adapt to the Spanish lifestyle. She had to adjust to their language, food, and training.

Noko Matlou scored a brace for Banyana in her first game for the national team in more than a year when they trounced Zambia 3-1 in April 2021. The last time she was with the team was in 2019 in a match against Japan.

Senior career


  • Development Ladies
  • Brazilian Ladies
  • University of Johannesburg
  • MaIndies
  • Eibar (2021- )


  • South Africa (2006- )

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