Benni McCarthy has a new gig – but it’s not in the dugout.
The former Bafana Bafana striker was this week confirmed as the new ambassador for the Nedbank Football Finance Summit, an initiative that began last year in conjunction with the tournament sponsored by the bank to help players – past and present, to open up regarding their financial wellbeing.
“I was a young player from a very underprivileged background and, overnight, went from handling between ten rand and twenty rand to handling millions,” McCarthy, who has played at the highest level in Europe and is the only South African player to win a Uefa Champions League medal while at Porto FC, said.
“I realised that the people who suddenly felt they could advise me about my finance, hadn’t done it for themselves. I decided to be more sensible about my money, so that my family could benefit after my playing career came to an end.”
McCarthy, 42, has since retired from playing and gone into coaching having recently spent nearly three years at Cape Town City.
“The toughest financial lesson I learned was being young and easily persuaded. You have to ask other players, especially more experienced players, about what things cost, how to do certain things and try to surround yourself with people who can give you great advice,” he added.
Khensani Nobanda, Nedbank’s Group Executive for Marketing and Corporate Affairs, said they felt McCarthy “embodied” their message money well managed can make a real difference in people’s lives hence the decision to look to him as an ambassador.