Benni McCarthy has retired from football at the age of 35. The South African all-time highest goal scorer played for Orlando Pirates before hanging his boots.
McCarthy joined Pirates in 2011 after quitting West Ham on mutual consent.
Cape Town-born McCarthy played in top leagues in the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal and England, winning the Eredevise with Ajax, the Portuguese League and 2004 Champions League with FC Porto under Jose Mourinho.
In a statement on the Premier Soccer League website McCarthy said: “Football has been good to me- it has provided special moments and enabled me to be in a position to have improved the lives of my family members.
“For that, I am most grateful.”
McCarthy retires as South Africa’s goal-king with 31 goals in 80 appearances. Although he was dropped from the final squad of the 2010 World Cup hosted on home soil.
“I have been so blessed to have enjoyed a remarkable career that took me from the township fields of Nyanga Stadium to winner’s medals in the Uefa Champions League and World Club Cup- the highest level that a player can achieve in football,” McCarthy added.
“It has been 17-years of professional career that surpassed even my own expectations.”
McCarthy won four trophies with Pirates in 2012, including the league title after scoring on his debut, and twice in the title-clinching game.
Meanwhile, Everton midfielder and compatriot Steven Pienaar has paid tribute to the South African legend. He tweeted his praise for the striker: “Benni the greatest ever.”