By Chris Wright
Benni McCarthy, seen here in leaner days
The coach of the South African national side, Carlos Alberto Parreira, has told striker Benni McCarthy that he runs the risk of losing his place in his country’s World Cup squad for being ‘too fat’.
Parreira has warned McCarthy that he has no plans to include him in the squad for Bafana Bafana’s upcoming friendly against Bulgaria, leaving the West Ham striker with only one more game against Colombia to prove his fitness before the provisional squad is trimmed to 23 men on June 1st.
South Africa’s fitness coach, Francisco Gonzalez has backed up the concerns of his superior, saying;
“He is overweight, with high body fat percentage and a lower physical state than the rest of the team. We started specific work with him last week but the question is, will he be ready for the World Cup? Only Parreira can answer that!
What’s the point of having a player who isn’t in a good physical condition and therefore useless to the coach. To go to the World Cup you have to be technically and physically well and today [McCarthy] is not in a good shape to play, not in the ideal condition.”
McCarthy’s fitness has also been dogging him at club level. The 32-year-old has hardly made an impact at West Ham since his deadline day move – making two starts and, as yet, failing to notch a single goal.