Benni McCarthy says the reason he missed out on being part of the 2010 World Cup squad was due to coach Carlos Alberto Parreira wanting to “get back at me”.
Still Bafana Bafana’s all-time goal scorer long after his retirement, McCarthy was omitted from the final squad to represent SA on home soil.
“But I think it was to get back at me. If you remember, there was a time when Alberto said he wanted to have a three-months training camp in Brazil and he wanted to convince the European players. The first trip they made was to Blackburn Rovers to see myself and Aaron (Mokoena), but the president of the club said there was no way in hell that they would let myself and Aaron go for three months and miss the season,” McCarthy told the SA Football Journalists’ Association as he went down memory lane.
It will be a decade since the kick-off of the global showpiece on Thursday.
“We were still very much in the thick of things, and I was flying at Blackburn at the time. So Alberto said if I put pressure on the club they would let me go and I must tell the club that I want to go to this training camp,” explained McCarthy.
“I said ‘listen, my bread and butter gets paid by Blackburn and if they tell you no then it’s no’. I can’t go put pressure on the club and then they put me out the door. Is SAFA going to pay my wages? Is SAFA going to give me the life that I worked so hard to get? No. If I am out of a club then I don’t make the national team squad. So I couldn’t fight them, they were the priority. I told him there’s nothing I could do about it and he felt I wasn’t complying.”
Reports then claimed McCarthy was dropped from the provisional squad because he brought company to the team hotel.
“So when the time came I didn’t make the World Cup squad. The excuse they gave the nation was that I had brought girls to the hotel – were they out of their minds or what?” recalled a visibly upset McCarthy.
Story by @superjourno
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