South Africa’s Bennie McCarthy set to coach Cristiano Ronaldo


Bafana Bafana legend Benni McCarthy has denied reports he is joining Manchester United as the Premier League team’s striker coach under head coach Erik ten Hag.

An announcement on former FC Porto striker McCarthy’s appointment is expected to be made by United on Monday. The story broke in the UK press on Saturday, including in the Daily Mirror.

Reached by TimesLIVE on his UK number on Saturday afternoon, McCarthy was asked if he could confirm he is joining United. He was coy in his reposnse, laughed and said: “Who’s pulling an April fool on me? No, sorry mate, no confirmation.”

SA sports show host Robert Marawa, contracted to Arena Holdings and whose Marawa Sports Worldwide show is carried digitally on SowetanLIVE, tweeted on Saturday McCarthy is joining United.

McCarthy is Bafana’s all-time top scorer and the only South African to win the Uefa Champions League with Porto under Jose Mourinho in 2004.


Dutchman Ten Hag, who coached Ajax Amsterdam last season, begins his first campaign with United in the 2022-2023 season tasked with restoring the world’s most-supported team to former glory.

McCarthy has been head coach and won trophies with two Premier Soccer League teams — Cape Town City and AmaZulu.

As a player he began his European career at Ajax, who he signed for from Cape Town club Seven Stars in 1996. McCarthy went on to star for Celta Vigo in Spain, Porto and Blackburn Rovers, where he was second-top scorer with 18 goals in the 2006-07 English Premier League to Chelsea’s Didier Drogba (20).

After a brief stint at West Ham McCarthy returned to SA to win trophies at Orlando Pirates.   



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