• Benni explains Chiefs snub for Pirates move

    Benni McCarthy (Orlando Pirates vs Kaizer Chiefs)

    Bafana Bafana legend and Cape Town City coach Benni McCarthy has revealed why he rejected the chance to join boyhood club Kaizer Chiefs in favour of a move to Orlando Pirates in 2011.

    The Citizens do duty against the Amakhosi in an Absa Premiership clash at the Cape Town Stadium on Saturday afternoon at 3pm. While addressing the media ahead of their tie, McCarthy reminisced about how close he came to signing for the Amakhosi – a team he supported as a kid.

    ‘Initially, after leaving England, I was going to go to play in the USA. I was training at Ajax Cape Town to stay fit,’ he told IOL.

    ‘But because I had never seen a Soweto Derby, I went up to Johannesburg to watch the game and that was where I met Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza. We had a chat and he persuaded me to sign for Pirates,’ he added.

    With his mind reportedly made up on a move to Chiefs, Benni says that he made a U-turn on his move to Naturena after hearing what Chiefs’ football manager Bobby Motaung thought about him.

    ‘I was at a restaurant and Bobby was at the same place. Afterwards, there were all the rumours that Chiefs were trying to sign me. But Bobby’s comments were that I was finished, I was past my best, that I was washed up and that I wasn’t a big fish anymore.

    ‘So I always had that in the back of my head, which is why I was happy to sign for Pirates – to show Chiefs how washed up I was; I would show them what a big fish looked like. I guess still now you can say that whenever I play against Chiefs, even as a coach, they know I will be out to try to hurt them,’ he said.

    The former Ajax Amsterdam, Celta Vigo, FC Porto, Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United star would of course come back to haunt the Amakhosi, ensuring that Motaung ate his words, netting a brace in the Soweto Derby en route to Pirates’ infamous (double) treble.

    Photo: Gallo Images

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