South Africa's favourite son Benni McCarthy turns 40

13 November 2017 - 10:44 By Nick Said
Cape Town City FC head coach Benni McCarthy hands a jersey to Sharlene van Dijk, Dealer Principle Barloworld during the club's Barloworld VW Sponsorship announcement at Bungalow, Clifton, Cape Town on 2 November 2017.
Cape Town City FC head coach Benni McCarthy hands a jersey to Sharlene van Dijk, Dealer Principle Barloworld during the club's Barloworld VW Sponsorship announcement at Bungalow, Clifton, Cape Town on 2 November 2017.
Image: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Benni McCarthy celebrated his 40th birthday on Sunday as the Cape Town City coach and greatest South African goal-scorer reached another milestone and had the world of Twitter buzzing.

McCarthy received well-wishes from across the planet‚ including the Spanish LaLiga‚ where he was a player for Celta Vigo‚ FIFA‚ his former national teammate Pierre Issa and South African Twitter‚ which was teeming with well-wishers.

It is a sign of not only his popularity‚ but also his status as South Africa’s most influential footballing export.

McCarthy responded by posting a picture of his daughter with Scottish model Stacey Munro‚ Lima Rose‚ and the message: “Thank-you very‚ very much to every single one for all the birthday wishes‚ I’m truly humble and grateful. God bless you all.”

McCarthy is an iconic figure in Europe for his role in helping FC Porto to the UEFA Champions League under coach Jose Mourinho in 2004‚ but also his time in the English Premiership‚ most notably at Blackburn Rovers.

One of his current Cape Town City players‚ Austrian midfielder Roland Putsche‚ admitted to TimesLIVE that the only South African player he had heard of before coming to the country was McCarthy.

McCarthy holds the record for the most goals for Bafana Bafana‚ 31 in 80 internationals‚ and won 14 major trophies as a player in spells at Seven Stars‚ Cape Town Spurs‚ Ajax Amsterdam‚ Celta Vigo‚ FC Porto‚ Blackburn Rovers‚ West Ham United and Orlando Pirates.

He also famously released the song ‘Shibobo’ with TKZee in 1998.

McCarthy was able to enjoy the weekend off with his City side not in action again until a home meeting with Baroka FC on November 21‚ when they could go top of the Premier League table with a victory.


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