Benni McCarthy is hoisted into the air after claiming his first trophy as coach of Cape Town City. Photo: Bongani Mbatha/African News Agency/ANA

CAPE TOWN – Benni McCarthy has always been a trailblazer in South African football.

He announced his arrival on the international stage in dramatic fashion at the 1998 Africa Cup of Nations in Burkina Faso, where he scored seven goals and was named the Player of the Tournament.

McCarthy, who hails from Hanover Park on the Cape Flats, also became the first South African to win the Uefa Champions League, with Porto in 2004, which included two goals against the club he idolised, Manchester United, along the way.

He also won his first trophy as a coach this season when Cape Town City clinched the MTN8.

Now, as he makes his way through a promising coaching career, McCarthy has made his mark again in the beautiful game. The 40-year-old former striker has earned the Uefa Pro Licence, the highest qualification in football.

McCarthy attended a ceremony in Belfast, Northern Ireland on Thursday, where the class of 2018 received their diplomas and cards.

“The Levels just got real it’s official. Uefa Pro Licence Done and Dusted 💫 THANK you @officialirishfa” McCarthy posted on his Instagram account (@bennimac17), while his club Cape Town City also celebrated the achievement.

“CTCFC is delighted to confirm head coach Benni McCarthy has earned his UEFA Pro Coaching License, the highest world-recognised qualification in football. He becomes the only South African coach in the PSL to achieve this elite level of coaching qualification. Congrats!”

The Uefa Pro Licence effectively allows McCarthy to coach in all major competitions, such as the Uefa Champions League.

As far as it could be established, former Cape Town Spurs coach Mich d’Avray is the only other South African mentor who has a Uefa Pro Licence, while Bafana Bafana’s Scottish boss Stuart Baxter also obtained the qualification.


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