Benni McCarthy admits that he would love to take over the helm at Bafana Bafana in the future, but insists he is solely focused on Cape Town City, writes DYLAN APPOLIS.
The 40-year-old coach is currently South Africa’s all-time top goal-scorer with 31 goals. He is also the only South African to have won the Uefa Champions League during his spell at Portuguese outfit Porto.
The former Blackburn Rovers striker has also recently earned his Uefa Pro Coaching Licence, the highest globally recognised qualification in football. He is the now the only South African coach in the Absa Premiership to hold the qualification.
However, McCarthy, who is now in his second season with the Citizens, says that he has not put much thought into taking over the national team anytime soon, although he knows that no coach would reject the opportunity when it arises.
‘I don’t worry about that now. For me, it is just about focusing on Cape Town City and doing well for the club and the chairman [John Comitis]‚ because he has put his trust in me‚’ McCarthy said.
‘I just want to concentrate on me and my coaching staff‚ and us trying to get things right to get us to where we should be.
‘My mindset is not on Bafana I’m afraid. Not even close.’
The City mentor admits that he would like to take up the opportunity one day and help the national team qualify for the Fifa World Cup, having last qualified in 2010 when South Africa hosted the global tournament.
‘If you get the call‚ if the opportunity arises‚ then I don’t think there are many coaches in the world that would turn down the opportunity to coach a national team‚’ he added.
‘As much as I am starting out [in coaching] and that …. but when are you ready to take such a big responsibility? When you are 50 or 60? I feel I’m ready for anything‚ I’m scared of nothing.
‘I don’t think the job‚ if ever the opportunity comes‚ would be too big for me. Also there is never a better time than now because‚ if I am not mistaken, it is 16 or 17 years since we properly qualified for the World Cup [since 2002].
‘We haven’t been participating in World Cups‚ except in 2010 when as hosts did not have to qualify.
‘When you look at that and you say to myself‚ “My God‚ you will become an instant hero if you qualify the team for the World Cup”.
‘The last person to do that was Carlos Queiroz for Japan and South Korea. I know‚ I played for him,’ Benni concluded.
WATCH: Benni McCarthy dress the media
Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix