Benni McCarthy in short


Full name: Benedict Saul McCarthy
Born: 12 November 1977 in Hanover Park, Cape Town
Clubs: Young Pirates, Crusaders FC, Seven Stars (1995-96 – 49 games, 39 goals), Cape Town Spurs (loan, 1996/97 – 7 games, 3 goals), Ajax Amsterdam (1997-99 – 43 games, 23 goals), Celta Vigo (1999-2003 – 74 games, 14 goals), FC Porto (loan, 2001/02 – 11 games, 12 goals), FC Porto (2003-06 – 104 games, 43goals), Blackburn Rovers (2006-10 – 140 games, 52 goals), West Ham United (2010-11 – 14 games), Orlando Pirates (2011-13 – 43 games, 13 goals)
National Teams: South Africa U-20 (12 games, 5 goals), South Africa U-23 (13 games, 2 goals), South Africa (1998-2012 – 80 games, 31 goals)
(Note: sub appearances included)

1995: Benni McCarthy, aged 17, is given his debut by Gavin Hunt at Second Division side Seven Stars

1997: Scores twice away to Kaizer Chiefs while on loan at Cape Town Spurs; top-scores at African Youth Championship and is Player of the Tournament; joins Ajax Amsterdam for a South African record fee; makes his Bafana Bafana debut against The Netherlands; plays in the World Youth Cup finals

1998: Scores four goals for South Africa against Namibia in the African Nations Cup; Top scorer and Player of the Tournament; helps Ajax win Dutch League and Cup; scores South Africa’s first ever World Cup finals goal

1999: Wins Dutch Cup; joins Celta Vigo in Spain

2002: Plays in Afcon; scores 12 goals in 10 starts on loan at FC Porto in Portugal; becomes first South African to score at two World Cups

2003: Signs for FC Porto

2004: First South African to win a Uefa Champions League winners medal, coming on as a substitute as FC Porto beat AS Monaco 3-0 in the Final; also wins Portuguese League and Super Cup and is top scorer in the country

2005: Wins Portuguese Super Cup with Porto

2006: Plays in Afcon; wins Portuguese League and Cup with Porto; joins Blackburn Rovers in the English Premier League

2007: Second-top scorer in Premiership with 18 League goals

2008: Scores his 31st goal for South Africa, making him Bafana Bafana’s all-time top scorer

2010: Signs for West Ham United

2011: Joins Orlando Pirates; wins Telkom Knockout Cup

2012: Helps Pirates complete their second successive Treble; wins 80th cap

2013: Retires from football … while leading the vote amongst fans for the Pirates line-up in next month’s Carling Black Label Cup