South Africa legend Benni McCarthy joins Manchester United coaching staff

Benni McCarthy has joined the Manchester United coaching staff ahead of the new football season under Erik ten Hag.

The 44-year-old is a lifelong long Manchester United fan.

McCarthy speaks four languages and has been working as a manager in South Africa’s top division at Cape Town City and Amazulu.

He was named 2020-21 South African Premier League Coach of the Year and in May of 2021 was offered — and turned down — the job as head coach of the South African senior national team.

As a striker, he played for Seven Stars in his native Cape Town, Ajax, Celta Vigo, Porto, Blackburn Rovers, West Ham, and Orlando Pirates. He played 79 times for South Africa and is the country’s all-time leading scorer, as well as being the only South African to win the Champions League.

In 2004, McCarthy scored two spectacular goals for Jose Mourinho’s Porto side to knock United out of that competition.

“I support Man United and always wanted to play for them,” the South Africa legend said. “I loved players like Mark Hughes, Andy Cole, and Ryan Giggs.

“So I was heartbroken to score twice. My dream was to score once at Old Trafford, not to knock United out of the Champions League. I got hammered after the game by Jose Mourinho because I wasn’t very happy. He told me that if I didn’t cheer up then I’d never play in his team again.”

McCarthy is familiar with the Manchester area having lived there when he played for Blackburn. During that time, he also had a good relationship with the then-young United striker Cristiano Ronaldo.

Source: Modern Ghana