By all accounts, the Orlando Stadium will be a battlefield on Sunday afternoon when win-or-bust AmaZulu tackle Orlando Pirates in a Nedbank Cup Last 32 clash.
Usuthu coach Benni McCarthy is known for bringing energy and passion to the beautiful game, and the Bafana Bafana legend did not mince his words ahead of the vital encounter.
The outspoken McCarthy has never shied away from speaking his mind, and he admitted that there is extra passion when he faces his former employers.
“Myself and my team are born competitors. With every game that we play, we don’t take anything for granted; we want to win. When I played for Pirates, I played with everything, my heart and soul,” said Benni.
“Now I am at AmaZulu, or any team that I coach, I give the same commitment. Unfortunately, for the team that I played for, I want to do it even more. When I meet Pirates, I want to win wholeheartedly. That’s why there’s more passion involved.
“And sometimes, the passion turns (into a brawl). When you win, they want to fight. And that’s where we don’t sit back; we accept the invitation. But it’s all love after the game. We have a lot of respect for each other – the coach and the club,” added the Bafana all-time top goal scorer.
Benni played for Pirates in his last season as a footballer and helped the Soweto giants clinch a domestic treble – the Premiership, MTN8 and Telkom Knockout.
“The commitment is there because they know they’ll be chased back to where they came from if I don’t see it in training. I think they are also professional enough to know that when the spotlight is there, it’s a big stage,” he said.
“So, who better to perform against the team that probably told you that you were not good enough or for whatever reason you were given your clearance? So which team takes you, and you come up against them, you have a point to prove.”