|Benni McCarthy @ Backpagepix
On Sunday evening when Orlando Pirates were on the brink of a disappointing draw with Maritzburg United, Benni McCarthy produced a moment of magic that brought three points to the Sea Robbers.
It was a special goal; a special moment and, more importantly, inspired by someone special. After the match, McCarthy revealed that the goal – an overhead spectacular kick – was to be dedicated to the country’s statement and international icon, Nelson Mandela.
“That goal was for my grandfather, Madiba,” he said after the game.
“Before the game, I spoke to my good sister Zindzi (Nelson Mandela’s daughter) to find out how the old man was doing. I told Zindzi that I will do something special for Madiba.
“I’m glad I kept my promise with that goal – it was a beautiful goal. I used to score those at Celta Vigo (in Spain) and at Ajax Amsterdam (in Netherlands), but I guess with time, I got a bit lazy and I forgot how to execute them.”
Paying tribute to Madiba
“In Madiba, we have someone who has given our country so much in a selfless way. Here is a man who spent many years – almost his entire life, in prison to ensure that we are all free today.
“I hope he gets well, he is an asset to the country and to the world,” he said.
Orlando Pirates are currently third on the log following their 1-0 victory over Maritzburg. Their next task will be a tough mission to Angola where they will have to play a return leg against away Recreativo do Libolo.
McCarthy has made it no secret that his homecoming was motivated, amongst other things, by a desire to win a CAF Champions League medal.
He won the EUFA Champions League medal with FC Porto under Jose Mourinho few years ago.