Xavier: AFC Leopards legend commends ex-Bafana Bafana star McCarthy

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AFC Leopards legend Francis Xavier believes Benni McCarthy's consistency was the reason why he was successful at club and national level.

The former Bafana Bafana striker made his debut for the national team on June 4, 1997, against the Netherlands and went on to make 80 appearances, scoring 31 goals in the process.

McCarthy is also the only South African to win the Champions League, under Jose Mourinho at Porto in 2004.

Xavier insists it all happened due to the now 42-year-old's hard work on and off the pitch.

"When you are a striker, it is all about scoring goals consistently," Xavier told Goal on Tuesday.

"It is an art McCarthy managed seamlessly and went on to have a huge impact on Bafana Bafana.

"He was a naturally hard worker on and off the pitch and whenever he was given a chance, he took it with all the seriousness it deserved.

"He also remained disciplined despite his impressive performances; he maintained his training routine to keep fit."

Despite being lethal in front of the goal for Bafana, the former Ajax striker did not manage to win any trophies with the team, as South Africa lost in the final of the 1998 Afcon to Egypt, where McCarthy was named the player of the tournament.

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"It could have been better for McCarthy to at least win a major silverware with the national team," Xavier continued.

"But it still takes nothing away from him, he is one of the few successful South African players abroad."

McCarthy was the head coach of South Africa top tier side Cape Town City until November 2019.