Remembering the young Benni




Benni McCarthy is the best striker in the history of the South African national team football. The former striker retired 2 seasons ago when he was playing for Orlando Pirates FC, but he is still the top goal scorer in the country for our national team. He helped Pirates to win double treble before retiring, meaning that he retired in style and he was still one of the best scorers when he retired.

It seems he will hold the record for the next 20 years as there are no natural strikers currently who can emulate his goal scoring skills. The country is yet to produce a striker of Benni’s caliber. He is currently standing on 32 goals for the national team and no one who is still playing who has a chance to break the record. The only player who is closer to break the record is Bernard Parker but the problem is that he is no longer part of the national team, so it will be very difficult for him to break the record. Parker is currently standing on 23 international goals.

Benni McCarthy has won major trophies in his playing career. He has won the European Champions League while playing for FC Porto of Portugal. South Africans will remember Benni’s introduction into international football when Bafana Bafana were playing Namibia in Burkina Faso (1998 AFCON) where he scored 4 goals against Namibia. Since 1998 Benni never looked back. He then went on to play for top European sides and managed to win the EUFA Champions League. He is the only South African to hold this record and it seems it will also remain as it is as there is no one closer to breaking it currently.

During his playing days, Benni was very quick and he knew when and how to score goals. He gave a lot of defenders problems and he was very aggressive when it comes to scoring goals. Benni played top level football that all current footballers are dreaming of. He represented the county all over Europe and a lot of people knew South Africa because of his contribution to world football.

There is currently one player who is being likened to Benni McCarthy, his name is Phakamani Mahlambi. The teenager has all the skills and eye to goal, he just need to be given proper guidance and life skills that will help him to reach and break Benni’s record if possible. Phakamani is very quick and he is still 18 years old. If natured well, the youngster could even make it to teams like Barcelona and other top European teams.

For South Africa to have another Benni, we must use him to help young players’ development and we must provide him with all necessities to help the country develop top strikers. He should be given a task by the South African Football Association, to select strikers at a young age and help them develop to full professional strikers. He knows how to score goals, he has been coached by top coaches in his career, so it is time we use his knowledge of the game to help grow our football.

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