Benni McCarthy
Benni McCarthy

Benni McCarthy opens up about 2010 World Cup pain

By Minenhle Mkhize Time of article published Jun 7, 2020

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Ten years after Benni McCarthy was omitted from the 2010 Fifa World Cup squad, the cat is now out of the bag.

South Africa’s best number 9 was snubbed for the biggest showpiece on earth in his own country back in 2010. There were numerous reasons offered for his omission but in an interview with South African Football Journalists Association (Safja), McCarthy admitted that he still feels that pain of missing out of the 2010 World Cup.

“2010 was my worst year just like 2020 is for everyone. When I look back, I think I shouldn’t have left Blackburn Rovers. But I didn’t really have a choice. I didn’t just want to be an impact player.

“When I had conversations with Sam Allaydyrce (coach of Blackburn at the time) that’s what he told me. He wanted a 90 minutes striker, he wanted a target man and I’m more of a luxury player. He said, I was more of a number 10.

“West Ham United came knocking and I had a conversation with (Gianfranco) Zola and he told me what his plans were and that suited me.I got injured in my debut and that injury hindered me throughout. I picked up weight. That didn’t help going to the 2010 World Cup,” McCarthy explained.

The enigmatic McCarthy competed in two World Cups in his glittering career. He scored in both spectacles in France 1998 and Japan/Korea in 2002.

McCarthy turned down an opportunity to be in camp with Bafana for three months and that proved to be a catastrophic mistake.

“I think it was to get back at me. I don’t know if you can recall, there was a period when (Bafana Bafana coach) Carlos Alberto Parreira wanted to have a three month training camp in Brazil. First, he wanted to convince the European players.

“The first trip that he made was to Blackburn Rovers. He came to England to see me and Aaron (Mokoena).

“The president of the club said that there was no way in hell that was going to happen. We were going to miss three months of action.

“At the time I was flying at Blackburn. The coach then spoke to me, he said if I put pressure on the club they will let me go.

“I must just tell the club that I want to go. But listen, my bread and butter was paid by Blackburn,” he added. “McCarthy believes that Parreira misunderstood his decision to be a sign that he had no respect for the nationa team.

“I think in a way he felt that I wasn’t complying to him asking me to fight to play for Bafana instead of Blackburn. All the excuses were made about what had been happening at West Ham. I came back from injury. I didn’t meet the weight requirements and all that. The excuse that they gave the nation was that I brought girls to the hotel. I was like ‘are they f**** out of their minds or what,” McCarthy said.


Sunday Independent 

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