8 Things You Didn’t Know About Footballer Benni McCarthy
Benni McCarthy played for seven football clubs in five countries during a glittering career that saw him become a South African football legend.
With time spent as a professional footballer at Celta Vigo, Porto, the Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United, and a number of records to his name, he retired from football in June 2013 as one of the best players to emerge from South Africa.
Here are 8 things you didn’t know about Benni McCarthy.
Sources: CityPress.co.za, Iol.co.za, Ball72.com, Zapiro.com, You.co.za, NutmegRadion.com
UEFA Champions League winner
McCarthy won the Champions League in 2004, when his Portuguese club defeated French side Monaco 3-0 in the final. Goals from Carlos Alberto, Deco and Dmitri Alenichev allowed the blue and white side to defeat the team from the principality in Germany. McCarthy joined the action when coach Jose Mouringo sent him on as a 78th minute substitute, allowing him to celebrate with his team-mates on the pitch at the final whistle.
Top scorer for Bafana Bafana
Former Porto, Ajax, Celta Vigo and Blackburn Rovers striker Benni McCarthy remains the national team’s all time leading goal scorer thanks to the 32 goals he had to his name before retiring from international football. He represented Bafana from 1997 until 2012, amassing 80 caps during that time and scoring a number of excellent goals amongst the 32.
Most Successful Season
Benni McCarthy had many successful seasons during his career, but his most successful season was playing with Porto for famous coach Jose Mourinho. During this season, he managed to score an unbelievable 20 goals in just 23 games, and his efforts earned him the coveted Golden Boot Award.
Four Goals In One Match
With a slow start scoring in the world of professional football, some may be wondering how Benni McCarthy managed to become a South African record holder (as well as the top goal scorer ever for Bafana Bafana). In one particular match, he managed to accumulate four goals — in 1998 in a match against Namibia — more than proving his merit as an attacking footballer.
Multiple titles, multiple continents
In May 2012, McCarthy scored two crucial goals which led to Orlando Pirates winning the PSL title in South Africa. Previous to that, the striker won league championships with Ajax Amsterdam in the Netherlands and FC Porto in Portugal), allowing him to become the first footballer from South Africa to win three league titles as part of three teams located on two continents.
Most expensive transfer
McCarthy’s skills were recognized early on which made him highly sought after by many teams. In 2006 Blackburn Rovers paid £2.5 million for his services. What many people don’t know, however, is that prior to this he had already made transfer history. After the 1998-1999 season, the Spanish team Celta Vigo bought him for more than €6 million, which at the time was the most expensive transfer ever for a player from South Africa.
While Benni McCarthy is primarily a footballer, he has had other claims to fame over the years. One of these was when he appeared in the video for the song “Shibobo” from TKZee, a musical group in the kwaito style. This style is a mix of house and hip-hop with South African influences.
He married a model
McCarthy is married to Scottish model Stacey Munro. Together the couple already had one child together before marriage, but that was McCarthy’s fourth child. Munro is McCarthy’s second wife; he was previously married to a Spanish woman named Maria Jose-Santos.
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