Benni McCarthy – There is Bafana without me
Posted: 20 May 2010 Time: 14:30
Bafana Bafana striker Benni McCarthy demonstrated some calmness when responding to allegations that he is "fat" and not fit for the World Cup next month.
The team's physical trainer Francisco Gonzalez was quoted on Tuesday by the Brazilian website Globoesporte.com saying "McCarthy's percentage body fat is high. And his physical state is inferior to the rest of his team."
However, the West Ham United striker says he still shares a healthy relationship with Gonzalez and doesn't understand the hullabaloo surrounding the whole issue. "My relationship with him is still excellent and this has not been affecting me, because I came here with one thing in mind and that is to be in the World Cup squad," he said today in Marks Park, Johannesburg.
"My preparation has been going very good and I have been working extremely hard. I'm starting to feel better. I'm starting to feel more like my usual self, so these are good signs for me. I'm going to try to catch up for lost time. Hopefully when May 31 comes I will make it to the squad," says the Cape Town-born marksman.
The 2004 UEFA Champions League winner with Porto says what has been written about him in the media regarding the thorny issue that he is fat hasn't affected his focus.
"Not really. When the coach names his 23-man squad I will be hoping I will be part of the group like anyone else. Some have been fortunate because they have been with the team for the last three months, the ones that went to Brazil and Germany. Everyone is working hard to be selected to be a part of the 23-man squad, including myself.
"Without me the team can still go on and achieve greater things. I'm just a player who can bring something to the team. I don't see why the whole issue about Benni this and Benni that. I'm just an individual, who is part of the group that represents you guys and the millions of South Africans," McCarthy added.