Benni McCarthy used to be a pretty good striker, not too long ago. He had a pretty good time during his first three seasons with Blackburn, scoring 36 league goals in those three years. Age, injuries, and a love for sweets or whatever made him get fat, came afterwards. In 2009-2010 he scored only one goal for Rovers, before making the switch to West Ham mid season.
Only 11 league games he had with the Hammers, no goals in all competitions, and a relegation last year. Well, McCarthy was payed 1.5 million pounds to terminate his contract, and the South African national side all time leading goal scorer (31 goals in 79 caps) returned to his native country after 14 years of club football in Europe, signing with Orlando Pirates.
McCarthy, who at one point weight just shy of 100 kilograms during his West Ham stint, was quick to react after West Ham’s Vice Chairman Karren Brady said he was a BIG, FAT, Mistake & more committed to filling his belly than filling the net. Being overweight and out of shape kept him out of the South African squad in the 2010 World Cup, a huge disappointment for McCarthy. No wonder he was a tad touchy about the subject.
“It makes me want to throw up. There’s the devil with a pair of tits. I am conditioned and can last for 90 minutes, but I’ll push myself to be in even better shape.” McCarthy was speaking with the Sunday Times in Johannesburg, and had more critique for the general behavior towards African players by European clubs – They get us for peanuts and sell for big bucks… They don’t give a rat’s ass what happens to you and your country. They say if you want to save your career, sign this statement that says concentrate on your club career.
Brady isn’t known to remain quite, or shy away from controversial commenting or public feuds with players and managers (like her hate-hate relationship with former manager, Avram Grant). Although McCarthy did go a bit far with his devil with tits remark, he certainly has a point about Brady’s lack of tack and the status of certain African players playing in Europe. I think it had less to do with him, though.