Monday, 26 March 2012

Minister of Tourism McCarthy: Now Maniche wants to come to South Africa

BENNI McCARTHY'S future seems assured. The Tourism Department will snap him up if Orlando Pirates ignore my pleas to forge him in to a future coach.
With former West Ham team-mate Luiz Boa Morte already signed up as an honorary South African after an encouraging chat with Orlando Pirates chairman Irvin Khoza, another Portugal international could soon be on his way.
Nuno Ricardo de Oliveira Ribeiro is better known as Maniche. He played with Benni in 2004 when Porto won the Champions League. And acording to The Sowetan today, Benni's had a word.
Though he didn't enjoy the Nedbank Cup defeat against the excellent Steve Komphela's Free State Stars at Orlando on Saturday, the magic McCarthy smile recovered when he revealed: "Maniche is not the only one. There are loads of professionals interested in coming to South Africa next season.
"In the past, the big stars like David Beckham and Thierry Henry have gone to finish their careers in the American MLS or the Middle East after quitting the big European Leagues.
"I can only advise, but I'm proud to hear household names want to play in our Premier League.
"The youngsters here will learn from them. Their presence in South Africa ill help improve our game and the profile of the PSL."
After a week which saw a 90,000 crowd for the Soweto derby - where McCarthy scored twice in a 3-2 win for the Pirates - plus huge crowds for their goalless draw against Sundowns at Loftus and Chiefs 2-0 Bloemfontein Celtic - Benni insists: "The PSL has a great future."
McCarthy couldn't confirm whether Maniche, who won 50 caps for Portugal and eight trophies with Porto, will join the old guard at the Buccaneers. But the former Inter Milan, Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Dinamo Moscow, Porto and Benfica central midfielder is definitely keen to come to the tip of Africa.
McCarthy confirmed: "We had a chat with Nuno, I played with him at Porto and he is a wonderful talent. He is very keen to come and further his football career in South Africa.
"He wanted to know what it is like to play in South Africa and I just told him: It's incredible."

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