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South Africa's all-time highest scorer retires from football

Former South Africa striker Benni McCarthy announces his retirement from football

Mahmoud Elassal, Thursday 6 Jun 2013
South Africa all-time leading scorer retires football
File photo: Benni McCarthy (Photo: Reuters)
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South Africa and Orlando Pirates striker Benni McCarthy announced Thursday that he has decided to retire from football after a long spell playing for European and African teams.

The 35-year-old started playing football at Seven Stars in Cape Town, then went on to play in Holland, Spain, Portugal and England, finally returning to South Africa to join the Orlando Pirates.

He is South Africa’s all-time leading scorer, with 31 international goals under his belt.

McCarthy started his international football career at the 1998 African Cup of Nations when he was named Player of the Tournament.

"I have been so blessed to have enjoyed a remarkable career that took me from the township fields of Nyanga Stadium, to winner’s medals in the UEFA Champions League and the World Club Cup - the highest levels that a player can achieve in club football," McCarthy said.

"I retire having represented my country at senior level 80 times and scored a record 31 goals."

"Two soccer World Cup finals, in France and Korea/Japan, an Olympic Games and an under-20 World Cup Finals will be memories that live in my heart forever," he added.

"And to have come home to South Africa for a final chapter, and to have won the treble with Orlando Pirates, was the type of finale that only dreams are made of."

Talking about his plans for the future, the South Africa star stated that: "I’d like to do some television work because I enjoy that aspect of the game as well."

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