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Media reports said South Africa's record goal scorer had withdrawn from the host nation's preparations with a hamstring injury that will not recover in time for the tournament, which starts on January 19.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

Latest Video Highlights

Sat, 05 Sep
Thu, 03 Sep
Mon, 31 Aug

Sports Talk



Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Man city show class in transfers
Finally, the transfer window in Europe has shut and for the next four months we shall be focusing...

Dr Errol Sweeney
Armchair refs make me sick
There’s a great expression by Clint Eastwood in one of his “Dirty Harry” movies that epitomises...

Segun Odegbami
Worries for Enrique, Mourinho and Oliseh
Three international coaches have been on my mind this week. The first is Luis Enrique.

Neil Tovey
Rakhale – kasi star on the rise
Thabo Rakhale has come on in leaps and bounds as a player since he debuted for Sivutsa Stars during...

Emeka Enyadike
All eyes on Coutinho
Phillippe Coutinho produced one of the standout moments of the opening week of the Premier League.

Sunday Oliseh
EPL will be a heated battle
Many thought it would be business as usual for Chelsea as they took on Arsenal at the Wembley...