Parreira wants McCarthy back
The new South Africa coach sees the in-form striker as a key player for Bafana Bafana.
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2007 10:08 GMT

Benni McCarthy has been sounded out by new national coach Carlos Alberto Parreira [GALLO/GETTY]

Carlos Alberto Parreira, South African football coach, expects in-form striker Benni McCarthy to end his long boycott of the national team after some impressive performances in the English Premier League lately.
McCarthy, who has refused to play for the Bafana Bafana since 2005, has scored 16 goals in all competitions for new club Blackburn Rovers, including the winning strike against Arsenal in the FA Cup earlier this week.

Parreira sees the 29-year-old McCarthy as a major part in his plans to resurrect the struggling national team ahead of South Africa hosting the 2010 World Cup finals, and is keen to entice him back in to the squad.

"He has proved he is one of the best forwards we have and is scoring goals in England," Parreira said in an interview with The Star newspaper.

"I don't know about this coming game (against Chad), but we cannot say this boy is not available for the national team.

"All I know is that Benni wrote a letter saying he did not want to be considered while he established himself at Blackburn.  I see him with the team in the future," added the Brazilian.

McCarthy, who has previously played for the Spanish club Celta Vigo and Dutch giants Ajax, joined Blackburn in the summer from Portuguese side FC Porto.

The forward walked out on the national team after voicing frustration at being made the scapegoat for their disastrous performance at the 2005 African Nations Cup in Egypt, when South Africa was eliminated in the first round, and also over the team's failure to qualify for the last World Cup in Germany.

South Africa have been in poor of late, seeing their world ranking drop to a lowly 59 behind African minnows such as Burkina Faso.

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