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Last Updated: Friday, 7 March 2008, 14:07 GMT
McCarthy wants Cup swansong
Benni McCarthy
McCarthy played for Bafana Bafana at the 2006 Nations Cup

Benni McCarthy insists that he will not abandon his dream of starring for South Africa when the World Cup is staged in his home country in 2010.

The Blackburn Rovers striker was a shock omission from coach Carlos Alberto Parreira's squad for the recent Cup of Nations in Ghana.

But the Cape Town-born player has no intention of missing out when the World Cup comes to town in two years' time.

He said: "I'm still in good shape, so there's no chance that I'm giving up on going to the World Cup.

"I'm 30 years old now and I'm still going strong. In all my time, not one single player has come and got as close to where I've been with the national team.

"You've got to give young players a chance and that's what they did for the African Nations Cup.

"But I've been in the national team now since 1997 and in 1998 I became a regular. Ever since then, I have been the number one striker for 10 years."

McCarthy claims that the dearth of attacking talent coming through for the national team is worrying after Bafana Bafana finishing bottom of their group at the Nations Cup.

He insists that he is no mood to stand aside for those younger players that have yet to prove their worth.

He said: "It's a shame that, for such a great country with so many talented young players, not one of them has put my playing days with the national team in danger.

"But now I'm having to work extra hard to get back in there because the World Cup in 2010, in my home country, will be the last opportunity for me to play on the biggest stage.

"I'm still very confident in myself, though. I go back and I'm always going to be the number one, but if you go and play in all the tournaments, you're never going to give a chance to young players.

"Me not going to the African Cup of Nations opened the door for so many young players, but when 2010 comes around, then I still want to be the number one striker."

McCarthy has had a chequered international career since breaking onto the scene eleven years ago.

He only ended a self-imposed nineteen month exile from the South Africa team by returning to the squad for the clash with Zambia last September.

The former Ajax and FC Porto hitman remains South Africa's most-internationally renowned player.



SEE ALSO
SA drop McCarthy for Nations Cup
30 Nov 07 |  African
McCarthy playing for Parreira
06 Sep 07 |  African


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