McCarthy: 'Image matters more to SA players'

Premiership

Benni McCarthy did not hold back when he gave his honest verdict as to why South African attackers fail to fulfil their potential.

The former AmaZulu head coach earned a reputation in Europe during his playing career for being one of the most clinical finishers to come from South Africa. 

On a national stage, the former FC Porto striker scored 31 goals for Bafana Bafana, an all-time record that is yet to be beaten. 

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With McCarthy now pursuing a managerial career, he has found himself frustrated on many occasions with his player's inability to score clear-cut chances during both spells at AmaZulu and Cape Town City. 

In the 2021/22 DStv Premiership season, Namibian striker Peter Shalulile won the Player's Player of the Season awards and the Lesley Manyathela Golden Boot Award for scoring the most league goals - 23. 

The 28-year-old has earned rave reviews for the impressive standards that he has set in the PSL as his closest competition was Royal AM’s Victor Letsoalo with 15 strikes.  

McCarthy recently elaborated on why South African strikers do not replicate the numbers of their European and African counterparts. 

"I think South African players have far more important things in their life than football," the 44-year-old told KickOff.

"Tik Tok, Instagram, and Twitter seem to be far more important to these guys.  

"Their image matters more than being the best player you can be.  

"Put a little more emphasis on your playing career and less time on social media. I think that would make a huge difference because the quality and talent is there. 

"You can see it on a daily basis but players are so quick to want to get off the training field so they can be on their phones and do whatever it is that they do.

"Football should be your everything and that should be your main priority. That is the biggest change that should happen.” 

This article is adapted from the second part of my interview with Benni McCarthy in the July edition of KICK OFF Magazine.

The latest copy can be purchased online or in stores for R27 and includes more great content on the difference between his approach at Cape Town City and AmaZulu, why Siphiwe Tshabalala hardly featured under him and the AmaZulu players whose quality caught him by surprise.

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