Benni: I'll never snub Bafana
Johannesburg - Veteran Orlando Pirates striker Benni McCarthy, arguably one of the better finishers in the world, has clarified the burning question surrounding a possible return to the national squad.
While he was available for selection, McCarthy said at the weekend there were younger players that should be considered ahead of him.
"I think you saw today the quality and talent of maybe 10 young players that are probably better than me," McCarthy said after netting a brace in Pirates' 3-2 win over Kaizer Chiefs on Saturday.
"I don't understand why they are not called up and people keep calling for me.
"Anyway, I'm a South African and never said I'd never play [for Bafana]."
The former Porto and Blackburn Rovers player has effectively been used as an impact player by the Buccaneers.
Such has been the bluntness in Bafana's current strike force that McCarthy and Moroka Swallows' Siyabonga Nomvethe, both 34, are seen as short-term solutions for the dithering national side.
With a dearth of proven net finders, young players like Bernard Parker and Lehlohonolo Majoro have struggled when given responsibility in the last year.
This leaves Katlego Mphela as the only source for goals, with South Africa proving poor upfront if the Mamelodi Sundowns man is out of form.
However, Bafana coach Pitso Mosimane has persisted on a young team with no place for McCarthy or Nomvethe, even on a temporary basis.
Bafana have crucial 2014 World Cup qualifying matches coming up, starting in May against Ethiopia.
"It's out of my control," McCarthy said.
"That is for the selectors and the South African Football Association - it's all in their hands.
"If only they could select correctly and select players on merit."
McCarthy and Nomvethe partnered each other upfront for the SA Under-23 side and Bafana, playing at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and the 2002 World Cup in South Korea.
They have amassed 37 national goals between them, and McCarthy remains the country's leading scorer with 31 strikes from 79 appearances.
Nomvethe is joint top scorer in the Absa Premiership, with 10 goals in this campaign, while McCarthy has netted seven times.