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Tuesday, 11 June, 2002, 14:51 GMT 15:51 UK
SA's key men out to prove point
Benni McCarthy
McCarthy (right) hopes to be leaving Spain for Middlesbrough

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South Africa's Group B decider against Spain in Daejeon will be an especially intense affair for key players Quinton Fortune and Benni McCarthy.

Both players have strong Spanish connections, having played in the Primera Liga, and are desperate to do their best to beat their more fancied and glamorous rivals.

Fortune started his senior professional career as a 16-year old with Atletico Madrid, with whom he won the Spanish league and cup double in 1998, while McCarthy joined Celta Vigo in 1999 from Dutch giants Ajax.

"I played with Spain's midfielders Ruben Baraja and Juan Carlos Valeron when I was at Atletico," Fortune said.

"Baraja and I were very good mates so I guess he'll have a few things to say to me during the match.

"It will be a privilege and an honour to play against them because they are such a highly rated and talented side. But we will approach the game as we would for any other opponents," he added.

McCarthy, who is still under contract with Celta Vigo despite being on loan to Portuguese side FC Porto since late last year, will come up against teammate Juanfran, who plays at left back for Spain.

"I respect Juanfran but for me it will be a game like any other," McCarthy said.

"We have a job to do to get to the next round so it will be nice if I could score against them," he added.


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 SQUAD PROFILES
GROUP B
  P GD PTS
SPAIN 3 +5 9
PARAGUAY 3 0 4
SOUTH AFRICA 3 0 4
SLOVENIA 3 -5 0




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