Cape Town - Benni McCarthy says winning his first title as a coach equates to his Champions League title with FC Porto or any other national honour he ever achieved with Bafana Bafana.
The former South Africa striker guided Cape Town City to their first MTN8 title on Saturday night when they beat SuperSport United 4-1 on penalties following a goalless draw in Durban.
Dutchman Peter Leeuwenburgh was the hero after saving two spot-kicks at the Moses Mabhida Stadium in a match dominated by the Capetonians.
McCarthy, arguably South Africa's most successful export, won Europe's top competition with the Portuguese giants back in 2003/04, scored for Bafana Bafana at the 1998 and 2002 World Cups and was voted Player of the Tournament at the 1998 Africa Cup of Nations.
Meanwhile, Saturday's victory against SuperSport ranked in the same category, according to the 40-year-old.
"This one has its own merit," McCarthy said.
"As a player, I was part of a group, I never did it on my own and I think this one is a little bit the same but with this particular one, we're the one having to deal with, we're having to manage 28-30 players... different personalities and different egos, so I think this one has to be almost right up there with the Champions League and scoring in the World Cup and scoring four goals in an African Nations Cup and being one of the prize assets of a major tournament, so this one has to be up there."
Having lost to SuperSport in last season’s MTN8 final, McCarthy was open about the hard lessons he had learned from his first season as a coach.
McCarthy said: "I've been in that situation last season and I could have put my head down and said, 'that was it, that's the best chance I have.'
"As a coach, I went back, and I learned more about myself, where I made mistakes and where I can be better, so now we're over the line with one [trophy] and now we want to continue."
The ex-Orlando Pirates forward also paid tribute to his team, adding: "But I don't like to look at it as an individual, I like to look at it as a collective effort between the players and my coaching staff. I think we as a team, we sat, and we worked extremely hard towards this.
"So, I'm delighted that we came out on top, everyone saw how we dominated the game. We were the better team and I think we got the reward for our effort."