The Pirates boss says the striker was keen to join The Buccaneers and reveals that it was in fact McCarthy’s camp that made the first move.
In April this year, McCarthy left English Premiership side West Ham United after agreeing a £1.5-million (R16-million) pay-off and with this, and all the money he made in his 14-year stay in Europe, McCarthy was not thinking of his pay-packet, but rather has set his sights on being a champion with Pirates on the domestic scene and the African continent by helping the 1995 CAF Champions League winners repeat their famous feat.
“Benni said to me and his agent [Rob Moore] that he has made enough money playing football,” Khoza says, something that, according to the ‘Iron Duke’, deterred the “shrewd businessman [Moore]” from pursuing a big-money move to Pirates for McCarthy.
In the same breath, McCarthy has dispelled the notion that training with Ajax Cape Town on his arrival in South Africa was a ploy to market himself to the local clubs.
“I never used anybody. I came on holiday to visit my mom because I hadn’t seen her in ages and when I was in Cape Town I asked Ajax to train with them instead of training on my own. Ajax is a club I have a lot of respect for and I will never use them,” McCarthy asserted.
However, the 33-year-old has promised the Pirates faithful huge returns whenever he dons the black and white jersey.
“I will put a lot of pressure on myself if I say exactly how many goals I want to score … if you are hungry and you put yourself in the right place at the right time, I think there is more than 20 goals to score,” he said, before adding cautiously that, “but not just from me, but also my teammates.”