Ex South Africa Captain Aaron Mokena Discloses Why Benni McCarthy Missed Out on 2010 World Cup

Ex South Africa Captain Aaron Mokena Discloses Why Benni McCarthy Missed Out on 2010 World Cup

Edwin Kiplagat
updated at April 3, 2024 at 5:10 PM
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  • Benni McCarthy is widely regarded as South Africa's greatest-ever striker
  • Carlos Alberto Parreira had snubbed him from the 2010 World Cup squad
  • Aaron Mokoena says that he was not called up because he was overweight

South Africa's all-time top scorer, Benni McCarthy, was not part of the Bafana Bafana squad for the 2010 World Cup on home soil.

According to former captain Aaron Mokoena, the Manchester United coach missed out on the team due to his weight.

South Africa, Benni McCarthy, 2010 World Cup, Pitso Mosimane, Carlos Alberto Parreira, Aaron Mokoena. Siphiwe Tashabalala.
Benni McCarthy missed out on a chance to score at the World Cup on home soil. Photos by Clive Mason and Lefty Shivambu.
Source: Getty Images

McCarthy was 33 during the 2010 showpiece and struggled with injuries at West Ham following his transfer from Blackburn Rovers midway through the 2009/10 season.

Brazilian coach Carlos Alberto Parreira did not name him in his squad for the tournament because of his weight.

"He gave Benni the programmes to help him actually to lose a bit of weight. And the last day that he had, maybe two days before he had to announce the squad, then he called me and Benni and he told Benni he won’t take him in the squad," he said via iDiski Times.
“And he even said that you’re the best striker in South Africa., but my principles are my principles. I believe that you’re overweight, to be part of the squad, so that’s how he actually told Benni.”

Mokoena tried to persuade the 1994 World Cup winner with Brazil to change his mind, but he was unsuccessful. Despite a promising tournament, South Africa failed to advance past the group stage.

McCarthy played for South Africa at the 1998 and 2002 World Cup tournaments, per GOAL.

McCarthy wants to coach South Africa

Sports Brief earlier reported on McCarthy speaking on his goal of coaching Bafana Bafana.

The former Porto centre-forward striker said he would love to coach his national team while still young because he likes to be more energetic on the touchline.

McCarthy's coaching ambition

Sports Brief also reported on McCarthy speaking on his ambition of going up against footballers of his generation like Wayne Rooney and Xabi Alonso.

Alonso, for instance, is on the verge of leading Bayer Leverkusen to their first-ever Bundesliga crown. McCarthy feels the time is right to battle the likes of Alonso.

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Edwin Kiplagat
Edwin Kiplagat has five years of experience in journalism working as a Sports Editor at Africa Insight Communications and ESPN. Edwin Kiplagat is a Bachelor's Degree holder in journalism from the Multimedia University of Kenya.