Benni to apologise for all the drama
AS THE saying goes, it's never too late to apologise.
And for the first time - on the Redi on Mzansi show - South African football's prodigal son, Benni McCarthy, defends his actions but apologises to the nation for his petulant behaviour during his time with Bafana Bafana.
At the height of his international career, McCarthy gained a reputation as a prima donna with an inflated ego, often needing a "stroking" from the national team coaches.
It became common knowledge that McCarthy played for Bafana on his own terms as the prime striker picked and chose matches.
"I can hold my hand up and apologise to the public because it's the public that says I had to give an explanation," McCarthy said. "The public are the ones that make or break a footballer and not the media, not a football club. It's the fans because when you gain popularity with the fans, nothing can go wrong.
"If you break that relationship, then no matter how good you are as a footballer, if your fans turn against you, everything goes wrong.
"I'm still trying hard, to this day, not to be a diva, a prima donna, a drama queen. I'm not that person. It's something the media has created."
He never demanded an apology from former Safa vice-president Mubarak Mohamed, whom McCarthy accused of making disparaging remarks.
McCarthy was accused of leading a Bafana protest for bonuses at the 2006 Africa Cup of Nations finals in Egypt.
And while the team needed his experience ahead of the 2009 Fifa Confederations Cup, the Bafana Bafana all-time leading goal-scorer refused to abandon his fatherly duties.
Instead, he chose to baby-sit.
In the gripping show, McCarthy, who is now playing club football at Orlando Pirates after spending more than a decade in Europe playing for Ajax Amsterdam and Blackburn Rovers among others - also opens up about the weight issue (rabbit food), the divorce, cars and the "devil with the tits" headlines.
McCarthy also talks about life-changing football experiences in a career spanning 16 years.
To see the full interview, watch Redi on Mzansi on DStv (Channel 107) tonight at 7.30pm.