Dr Irvin Khoza’s tribute to the retired Orlando Pirates striker Benni McCarthy

Pirates chairman Dr Irvin Khoza finally pays tribute to the retired Bafana legend Benni McCarthy

Orlando Pirates chairman Dr Irvin Khoza has broken his silence on Benni McCarthy’s retirement from football after spending two seasons with Bucs.

Khoza admitted that Pirates were privileged to have McCarthy on their books, and revealed that he has been Benni’s fan from the day he turned professional after realizing how talented he was. 

“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,” Khoza was quoted on the Pirates website.

Khoza also spoke well of McCarthy’s success in Europe where he worked with one of the best coaches in the world in Jose Mourinho. He also believes that McCarthy’s career highlight should be the Uefa Champions League triumph with Porto in 2004.

He also mentioned the two goals that Benni scored against the mighty Manchester United in the Uefa Champions League when the Red Devils were leading 1-0. Porto won that match 2-1.

Khoza believes that McCarthy returned to the PSL in style by scoring on his debut, and said he was touched with the way Benni celebrated after scoring his first Pirates goal against Black Leopards, and also when he ensured Bucs’ league title defence with two goals against Golden Arrows. 

“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’,” said Khoza.

The Pirates chairman believes that Benni had not come back to South Africa to prove a point to anyone, because he had already made a name for himself.

“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,” concluded Dr Irvin Khoza.

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