Vasco da Gama, Cape Town’s PSL newcomer

Get to know the new professional Cape Town soccer club in the PSL

While professional soccer clubs in Cape Town can be very well-known within South Africa, that doesn’t always hold true for their fame in other international soccer countries. While literally everybody all over the world will know what you’re talking about when you mention Inter Milan, Barcelona or Manchester United, they’ll probably give you a very puzzled look if you ask them ‘if they have ever heard of the soccer club Vasco da Gama from Cape Town?’

The Vasco da Gama soccer club is the third official team from Cape Town in the Premier Soccer League (PSL) in South Africa. They are ‘the new kids on the block’, since they only made their entry into the league in 2010. A well-deserved effort, seeing they are one of the oldest soccer clubs in Cape Town, having been founded as early as 1980.

New in the PSL

Vasco da Gama wasn’t always playing professional soccer, but managed to move up in the league quite steadily over a couple of years. The season 2002-2003 meant a promotion from the amateur league into the national first league of South Africa, marking the first steps into the professional soccer league of South Africa.

These cautious steps turned solid last seasons (2009-2010) when they managed to work their way into the highest soccer league in the country, the PSL. In what people would refer to as real ‘thriller’ opponents The Black Leopards were defeated, paving the way for professional soccer for Vasco da Gama going forward, under the careful guidance of manager Carlos das Neves.

Welcome to the PSL, Vasco!

Just like competitors Ajax Cape Town, Vasco da Gama’s training facilities are located in Parow, about 20 minutes from the city of Cape Town. Their home stadium is the Belville Stadium, which offers seats to about 20 000 spectators.

Brazilian Roots

Although Cape Town club Vasco da Gama might not be well-known internationally, the name Vasco da Gama itself is. Vasco da Gama is also the name of a fairly well known professional Brazilian soccer club: CR Vasco da Gama. Just like Ajax Cape Town was founded by its ‘mother club’ Ajax Amsterdam, Vasco da Gama is a descendant of this Brazilian club. It’s therefore hardly surprising that most of the Capetonian and South African fans of Vasco have Brazilian or Portuguese roots.

However, compared to other soccer clubs from Cape Town playing in the PSL, Vasco da Gama is definitely the underdog, looking at the numbers of fans Ajax Cape Town and Engen Santos have.

The history of soccer clubs in and from Cape Town is quite a historic rich one. Read more on the history, general information, performances, stadiums and famous players of these Capetonian soccer clubs: Ajax Cape Town and Engen Santos.


For the saga of soccer in South Africa didn’t end with the 2010 World Cup. Stay on the ball with sports in Cape Town by visiting our Sport Section.

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