Player Profile: Benni McCarthy
Full Name: Jacob Sean Iveson (Better known as Benedict or Benni McCarthy)
Date of Birth: 12th November 1977, Cape Town
Nationality: South African
Squad Number: 10
Internationals: Capped at Full level for South Africa
Signed: July 2006
Previous Clubs: Seven Stars, Cape Town Spurs, Cape Town Ajax (merger of Seven Stars and Cape Town Spurs) (all South Africa), Ajax (Holland), Celta Vigo (Spain) & Porto (Portugal)
Benni McCarthy, the legendary South African began his footballing career in his home land with Seven Stars and as an 18-year-old scored 27 goals in 29 games, eventually earning him a move to Cape Town Spurs.
Seven Stars and Cape Town Spurs eventually merged to form one new South African club side known as Ajax Cape Town who became the feeder club for Dutch giants Ajax.
A move to Ajax was secured after the 1997 World Youth Championships in which he excelled for South Africa. During his successful spell in Dutch football he also gained his legendary South African status as he scored his countries first ever World Cup Finals goal during the tournament in France in 1998.
His performances, not only at the World Cup but also for Ajax saw him become the one time most expensive South African footballer ever as he moved to Spanish side Celta Vigo. His time with Celta was largely disappointing but a loan move to Porto, then managed by Jose Mourinho was to re-ignite his career. He however returned to Celta with whom he again overall experienced yet more disappointment.
The 2003-2004 season saw a return to Porto for McCarthy, this time on a permanent basis and in this season with 20 goals in 23 games he picked up the golden boot also being instrumental in Porto's winning of the 2004 Champions League.
With Victor Fernandez (his former Celta manager) taking over following Mourinho's departure a move seemed certain especially after McCarthy was claimed to say "he'd rather quit playing than play for him again." Moves to the likes of Everton, West Ham United and Blackburn initially failed to happen.
Benni finally arrived at Ewood for an undisclosed amount, thought to be as little as £2.5 million in July 2006, signing a four-year contract.
Highly talented yet sometimes rumoured to be troublesome (he didn't get on with Fernandez and has retired from International football and returned more than once) the forward is and will remain a huge crowd favourite at Ewood; his quality can not be questioned with more than one glimpse of this already having been seen during the 2006-2007 season.
Blackburn Rovers appearances and goals up to the start of the 2006-2007 Season
FA Cup: 0
League Cup: 0
Other (European etc.): 0
TOTAL: 0 - 0 goals
McCarthy only signed in July 2006 so he has no previous Rovers data.
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