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Benni McCarthy back in the Premier League with Manchester United?

Benni McCarthy has reportedly joined Erik ten Hag’s coaching staff at Machester United. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Benni McCarthy has reportedly joined Erik ten Hag’s coaching staff at Machester United. Photo: Muzi Ntombela/BackpagePix

Published Jul 30, 2022


Durban - Bafana Bafana legend Benni McCarthy has been appointed as a Manchester United first-team coach according to multiple reports.

The 44-year-old will be tasked to improve the performances of the United forwards who bar Cristiano Ronaldo misfired in front of goal last season.

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With the 37-year-old Ronaldo’s future at Old Trafford currently the subject of speculation, it will be vital for McCarthy to get more out of players such as Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford.

McCarthy most recently worked as head coach of AmaZulu. He made history with South Africa’s oldest professional football club by leading them to a first ever CAF Champions League berth after finishing a historic high second place in the South African top-flight during the 2020/21 season. Prior to working as head coach of Usuthu, McCarthy also managed Cape Town City.

McCarthy also will be very familiar with the working environment in England. He previously played in the Premier League for Blackburn Rovers and West Ham. He had a successful spell with Blackburn Rovers, notably finishing as the second highest scorer in the Premier League during the 2006/07 campaign with 18 goals. The only player who scored more that season was Chelsea legend Didier Drogba who found the back of the net 20 times.

New Manchester United boss Erik Ten Hag will also be very familiar with McCarthy as the duo played against each other in the late 1990s. McCarthy started his career in Europe with Ajax Amsterdam, the club that Ten Hag also previously coached, in the late 1990s.

Others names who Ten Hag has roped into his technical team include Mitchell van der Gaag and former England boss Steve McClaren while Eric Ramsay has been retained as a first-team coach.

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For McCarthy his new role is a dream come true as he has an admiration for Manchester United.

“I support Man United and always wanted to play for them. I loved players like Mark Hughes, Andy Cole and Ryan Giggs,” said McCarthy.

McCarthy also reflected upon his famous brace against United in the 2003/04 Champions League quarter-final first leg. Porto famously won the Champions League that season under Jose Mourinho. McCarthy also remains the only South African footballer to have won Europe’s premier football club competition.

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“I was heartbroken to score twice. My dream was to score once at Old Trafford, not to knock United out of the Champions League. I got hammered after the game by Jose Mourinho because I wasn’t very happy. He told me that if I didn’t cheer up the I’d never play in his team again,” said McCarthy.

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