Legendary South African striker Benni McCarthy says 2010 was a bad year for him as a footballer.
The former FC Porto marksman left Blackburn Rovers for fellow English club West Ham United midway through the 2009/10 campaign.
However, McCarthy struggled with injuries and made a few appearances for West Ham and he was not included in Bafana Bafana's final 23-man squad for the 2010 Fifa World Cup finals.
“2010 was my worst year just like 2020 is for everyone. When I look back, I think I shouldn’t have left Blackburn Rovers. But I didn’t really have a choice. I didn’t just want to be an impact player," McCarthy told the South African Football Journalists' Association (Safja).
“When I had conversations with Sam Allaydyrce [coach of Blackburn at the time] that’s what he told me. He wanted a 90 minutes striker, he wanted a target man and I’m more of a luxury player. He said I was more of a number 10.
“West Ham United came knocking and I had a conversation with [Gianfranco] Zola and he told me what his plans were and that suited me. I got injured in my debut and that injury hindered me throughout. I picked up weight. That didn’t help going to the 2010 World Cup."
McCarthy rejected a chance to be in a camp with Bafana for three months and this backfired as then-South Africa head coach Carlos Alberto Parreira did not include him in the 2010 World Cup squad.
“I think it was to get back at me. I don’t know if you can recall, there was a period when Carlos Alberto Parreira wanted to have a three-month training camp in Brazil. First, he wanted to convince the European players," he said.
“The first trip that he made was to Blackburn Rovers. He came to England to see me and Aaron [Mokoena]. The president of the club said that there was no way in hell that was going to happen. We were going to miss three months of action.
“At the time I was flying at Blackburn. The coach then spoke to me, he said if I put pressure on the club they will let me go. I must just tell the club that I want to go. But listen, my bread and butter was paid by Blackburn."
McCarthy believes that Parreira misunderstood him as the accomplished Brazilian coach felt that the Cape Town-born legend was disrespecting the national team.
"I think in a way he felt that I wasn’t complying to him asking me to fight to play for Bafana instead of Blackburn," he revealed.
"All the excuses were made about what had been happening at West Ham. I came back from injury. I didn’t meet the weight requirements and all that. The excuse that they gave the nation was that I brought girls to the hotel. I was like ‘are they f**** out of their minds or what," he concluded.
Nevertheless, McCarthy retired from international football having played and scored for Bafana at the 1998 and 2002 World Cup finals.
The Scotland-based coach has been jobless since he left PSL side Cape Town City last November, but he is targeting coaching positions at Scottish side Hearts and Portuguese giants FC Porto.