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10 Stars Benni Scored More Goals Than In The Champions League

With Bafana Bafana legend Benni McCarthy being the only South African to have won the coveted UEFA Champions League trophy, doing so under the management of Jose Mourinho, here are 10 big names the former Porto striker scored more goals than in Europe's biggest club competition.

Click through the gallery above to see McCarthy and 10 players he scored more goals than in Europe's biggest club competition.

After joining Ajax Amsterdam from Ajax Cape Town in 1997, McCarthy was destined for big things abroad. Following two years in Holland, the forward joined Celta Vigo in Spain, where he spent three years before signing for FC Porto on loan in January 2002.

His move to Portugal was finally made permanent ahead of the 2003/04 season, during which he achieved the greatest honour in European football by lifting the Champions League trophy under an up-and-coming manager in Mourinho.

McCarthy scored five goals and created another two strikes in 11 matches during that campaign, including two against Manchester United in the first leg of a round of 16 tie. At Old Trafford in the return fixture, he set up a colleague in a crucial 1-1 draw that saw Porto advance to the quarter-final round at the Red Devils' expense.

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Although he did not score in any of the remaining knockout rounds, McCarthy played an important role in getting the Portuguese giants to the last eight. Porto went on to win the competition with a 3-0 win over Monaco in the final, with McCarthy becoming the first South African to win the tournament.

The former Bafana Bafana forward scored a total of nine goals in 28 matches in the Champions League, a tally better than what many established names achieved in Europe, including former Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo. The free-kick specialist struck just eight times in 108 games in the competition.

McCarthy also has a better record in the tournament than ex-Chelsea and Lyon winger Florent Malouda, as well as former FC Barcelona and Manchester City midfield stalwart Yaya Toure. Like Pirlo, both of them scored eight times In the UCL.

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Mario Balotelli, Salomon Kalou and even Eric Cantona scored less in the showpiece than the Cape Town City coach, as did Eidur Gudjohnsen, Luis Fabiano, Henrik Larsson and Santiago Solari. Only two players in the gallery, Fabiano and Cantona, played fewer matches than McCarthy.

Do you think McCarthy gets enough credit for being the only South African to have won the Champions League? Let us know in the comments section below.


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