The former Ajax Amsterdam and FC Porto star’s name has been mentioned among possible replacements for Molefi Ntseki
Former Bafana Bafana striker Benni McCarthy says he “wouldn’t rule out” taking over as South Africa national team coach “if the opportunity comes” and would relish taking the them to the Fifa World Cup.
The Bafana job is currently vacant following the recent firing of Molefi Ntseki after the team failed to qualify for the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations finals.
Currently four months into his role as AmaZulu coach, McCarthy’s name has been thrown around among favourites to succeed Ntseki.
Even 1996 Afcon-winning coach Clive Barker has backed McCarthy, also a former Cape Town City coach, to be given an opportunity with the national team.
“As a former player and a manager now you would want to be in charge of the best teams in the country where you are managing,” McCarthy told BBC Sport.
“If that comes with the responsibility of taking your national team that’s been struggling – it is something that I wouldn’t rule out. As much as I love the day-to-day antics about managing players working on a daily basis and improving them my national team is struggling so if there is a chance for me to take the reins and take the South African job I would think about it.
“I would really think hard about it because nothing would make me prouder than to manage my country and qualify us to a World Cup tournament. That would be one of the highlights of your managing career even though it is such a short space of time but it is something that I am thinking about and would consider if the opportunity comes.”
Having spent part of his playing career in the Premier League turning out for Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United, McCarthy says his ultimate goal is to manage a club in England.
He has already experienced a cameo coaching stint in Europe where he was assistant coach at Belgian side Sint-Truiden between 2015 and 2016.
“My main priority is that I want to get back to England – I want to manage in the Premier League one day or I want to manage a Championship club,” said McCarthy.
“After playing there I have had that taste of what the best league in the world is about and what is required of you so that is mouth-watering and that is my biggest desire.”
With the Fifa World Cup qualifiers upcoming, the South African Football Association is expected to name a new coach soon.