Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | Bafana Bafana

Benni McCarthy © Gallo Images

Injury curtails Benni's fairytale return



The possibility of a fairytale return to the African Nations Cup for 35-year-old South Africa striker Benni McCarthy, once described as a "big fat mistake", was ended by injury on Thursday.

Media reports said South Africa's record goal scorer had withdrawn from the host nation's preparations with a hamstring injury that will not recover in time for the tournament, which starts on January 19.

McCarthy has been beset by weight problems at times in his career but had a revival in the autumn of his playing days after returning home to join Orlando Pirates. He scored vital goals last season as the club won the championship on the last day in May.

He had returned to South Africa in mid-2011 after flopping at West Ham United, whose vice chairman Karren Brady described his signing as a "big fat mistake".

South Africa also dropped him before hosting the 2010 World Cup finals.

However, his form over the last 12 months earned him a recall to the South Africa side in September. They have been desperate for a reliable goal scorer after a run of mediocre performances.

McCarthy, with 31 goals in 80 caps, played his first international in more than two years in a September friendly against Brazil but tore his hamstring within minutes of coming onto the pitch in Sao Paulo.

The injury has since been aggravated and on Thursday he was forced to withdraw as South Africa started a three-day training camp in Johannesburg.

It was at the Nations Cup finals in Burkina Faso in 1998 that a slim, fresh-faced and 20-year-old McCarthy rose to prominence, finishing joint top scorer and confirming the potential that Ajax Amsterdam had seen the previous year when signing him.

He went on to play in Spain and England and won the Champions League with FC Porto in 2004.

South Africa are due to name their 23-man squad for the three-week tournament on Sunday. They open the Nations Cup with a Group A match against the Cape Verde Islands at National Stadium in Johannesburg.



Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Other Live Streaming

Event Streaming

Channel Streaming

Sports Talk



Calvin Emeka Onwuka
All or nothing for Liverpool at the Emirates
After the International window break, combative Premier League matches will resume in England as...

Neil Tovey
Brockie - A striking example
Jeremy Brockie has only been in South Africa since January but has made a big impression.

Dr Errol Sweeney
Ref in red card 'blunder'
In my last blog for supersport.com I stated that video technology is, more than ever, required to...

Sunday Oliseh
EPL goes to war with non-Euro foreigners
What will the Barclays Premier League be without foreigners today? Uninteresting to say the least...

Carol Radull
LVG has arrived
I said it a few weeks ago, that once Man United found their footing, it would be impossible to stop...

Segun Odegbami
Football is full of failed coaches
I admit that I am looking for trouble writing today about coaches. I do not really like discussing...