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Khoza's Benni Tribute

Orlando Pirates chairman, Irvin Khoza, has paid tribute to retiring South African legend, Benni McCarthy.

McCarthy retired last week at the age of 35-years-old, bringing an end to an incredible career in South Africa and in Europe.

In a recent interview with Soccer-Laduma, Bafana Bafana's all-time top goal scorer admitted that he was disappointed that he couldn't break the news of his retirement to Khoza before releasing his statement.

However, in a statement on orlandopiratesfc.com, Khoza has wished McCarthy well, praising not only his natural ability but his whole attitude.

The statement from Khoza said, "We are privileged at Orlando Pirates Football Club to have had Benni McCarthy write his final playing chapter in the black, white and red colours of the Happy People. I have for years been a vocal admirer of Benni McCarthy. The most attractive attribute about Benni to me is his attitude. There is a fine balance between aptitude and attitude. I have over the years witnessed promising talent come to nothing having been failed by their attitude. Not only was Benni a fine talent, he succeeded largely because he complimented his talent with a ‘can do’ attitude.

"Perhaps the most laudable of Benni’s strengths was best captured by Jose Mourinho, his coach at FC Porto, where Benni achieved the UEFA Champions League honours. He attributes Benni’s tenacity to his tough Cape Flats upbringing. He describes the 2004 UEFA Champions League second round match against Manchester United where Benni scored a goal in each half after initially trailing for Porto to win 2-1 as a highlight of Benni’s ability to deal with adversity. He says that the only player in the field of play that did not know or even care that Manchester United was leading and expected to win was a little kid from Cape Town that went on to convert two half chances to two goal so boosted the team’s moral, they went on to win the UEFA Championships League.

"Benni came to Orlando Pirates and in true Benni style scored on his debut match. He was not going to allow headlines questioning when he was going to score. He created headlines asking instead, how many goals he is going to score. With his hand wrapped a black bandage, reminiscent of the ‘black power’ fame, he scored twice against Arrows ensuring our successful defence of the ABSA Premiership and the achievement of our famous ‘Double Treble’.

"Benni McCarthy had no point to prove. His success is not only captured in the annals of history, it made history. His contribution to football makes him an insider that will always have a role to play in the game for many years past his playing days. That he chose to finish playing at Orlando Pirates was a privilege for which we are grateful.

"Voorspeoed Meneer McCarthy."

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