Jonty Mark

By Jonty Mark

Football Editor

Benni believes he can take Bafana past World Cup group stages

'I can help our national team qualify for the World Cup. And not just qualify for the World Cup, but going far!' said McCarthy.

Benni McCarthy has once again talked up his chances of coaching Bafana Bafana, and believes he can emulate Morocco and Ghana by taking the national team beyond the group stages at a World Cup finals.

“Any player who turns to coaching or being a manager, his dream is to coach his national team,” said McCarthy in an interview with iDiski Times.

“And for me, it’s even more so, the fire is burning even more so. Because of the fact that South Africa has never qualified for the World Cup since 2010, or technically 2002 (Bafana only qualified in 2010 by virtue of being hosts)! And that ghost is haunting me.

“So the more we’re not involved in world football at the big stage, the more that is saying to me, ‘I think maybe it’s time to push the button on taking the national team’. Because I know I have what it takes.

“I can help our national team qualify for the World Cup. And not just qualify for the World Cup, but going far! Going through the group stages and doing what Morocco and Ghana have done at previous World Cups.”

‘I want to be present for my players’

The Manchester United striker coach also says he doesn’t want to be current head coach Hugo Broos’ age when he takes the job. Broos is currently 71 years old, and will be hoping to qualify Bafana for the 2026 Fifa World Cup finals in the USA, Canada and Mexico.

“Listen. I don’t want to be Hugo Broos’ age when I take the Bafana job!” McCarthy added.

“I want to be able to still have the energy that I have. I want to be present for my players. And you know how vocal and how animated I am?

“And I still want to have all those traits, the trademark me on the touchline, and intimidating the opposition bench and coaches because of how vocal and animated I am on the touchline.

“So when my players see that, they must see a reflection of themselves in their coach on the touchline. So yeah, so I hope that opportunity comes one day.”

McCarthy was previously linked to the Bafana job when Molefi Ntseki was sacked in 2021, but Safa ended up appointing Broos. The Belgian did not manage to qualify Bafana for the 2022 Fifa World Cup, but he did take them all the way to a bronze medal this year at the Africa Cup of Nations finals in the Ivory Coast.

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