We say farewell to one of South Africa’s most popular and the most decorated soccer player that this nation has seen.
Yes I am talking about Benni McCarthy. The well-known soccer star earned a well-deserved rest from the game after a 17 year run. “I retire having represented my country at senior level 80 times and scored a record 31 goals. Two Soccer World Cup finals, in France and Korea/Japan, an Olympic Games and an Under-20 World Cup Finals will be memories that live in my heart forever.“ that’s just a few of his accolades, to mention more would just be bragging.
You might all be wondering what his stats were like at his peak in 2008, well don’t worry, I got you, the figures bellow are according to PES stats:
Short pass accuracy: 72
Long pass accuracy:75
Shot accuracy: 82
Ball control: 84
Explosive power: 82
Dribble speed: 81
Top speed: 82
So as you can see, he leaves South Africa with a big gap to fill. During his career he’s played for many great international clubs such as: West Ham, Blackburn, Porto, Celta Vigo and Ajax. His total signing fee came to €9 590 000.
“I have been so blessed to have enjoyed a remarkable career that took me from the township fields of Nyanga Stadium, to winners’ medals in the Uefa Champions League and World Club Cup,” McCarthy said. He arose from humble beginnings in Hanover Park Cape Town to become one of South Africa’s greatest players, leaving in his trail many young impoverished children with hopes of one day becoming the next great Soccer star.
So what’s next for the South African star? “For the next chapter, I’d like to concentrate on getting my coaching badges and at the same time, be part of a club where I can get practical experience.”, if he’s coaching career is as successful as his career on the pitch, we may be looking at our next best coach. “I’d also like to do some television work because I enjoy that aspect of the game as well.”…ok maybe not that Benni.
There you have it folks, a long road filled with challenges comes to an end for this iconic player. Is the end of a chapter or perhaps the start of a new one?