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Last Updated: Friday, 28 July 2006, 08:36 GMT 09:36 UK
Blackburn sign striker McCarthy
Benni McCarthy
McCarthy was linked with a string of Premiership clubs in recent seasons
Blackburn have signed Porto striker Benni McCarthy on a four-year contract for an undisclosed fee.

The South Africa international, 28, has had spells with Ajax and Celta Vigo, and was part of the Porto side which won the Champions League in 2004.

"We tried to sign Benni 12 months ago and we have been tracking the situation since then," Blackburn chairman John Williams told the club's website.

"We are delighted that we have managed to bring him to Rovers."

McCarthy is the third striker Blackburn boss Mark Hughes has signed this summer, following Francis Jeffers and Jason Roberts to Ewood Park as the club look to improve on last year's sixth place in the Premiership.

Rovers are reported to have paid a fee of about 2.5m for McCarthy, who had previously been linked with moves to Everton, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and West Ham.

"It's a privilege and an honour to play for the team who show so much interest in a player, and not giving up hope and so want me, and when they got a chance they still went for me," said McCarthy.

"I'm thrilled and delighted and hope I can show my appreciation by coming in and playing good football and hope to score as many goals as possible to put the team where they belong.

"I'm very thrilled because it has always been a dream and I've had so many opportunities to come and play in England but in the end it always seemed to go wrong.

"But Blackburn haven't lost faith - they came last season for me and it didn't work out and this season they fought again but finally I'm here so I'm going to make the most of it."

He started his career at feeder club Ajax Cape Town, before progressing to the full-blown Ajax Amsterdam set-up in 1997.

McCarthy then moved to Spanish side Celta Vigo in 1999, but struggled to settle in Spain, and - after two unsuccessful seasons - was loaned to Porto under manager Jose Mourinho where he blossomed.

He returned to Celta Vigo before Porto made the transfer permanent in 2004.

McCarthy has won 60 caps for South Africa, scoring 26 goals and playing at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups.

He retired from the international game after the 2002 World Cup, but reversed his decision in 2004.

Blackburn sign Roberts from Wigan
03 Jul 06 |  Blackburn Rovers
Blackburn snap up striker Jeffers
03 Jul 06 |  Blackburn Rovers
McCarthy is dropped by Porto
11 Sep 05 |  African
McCarthy wanted Everton move
01 Sep 04 |  African


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