McCarthy celebrates landing in the Premiership

August 3, 2006

New Blackburn signing Benni McCarthy has criticised former club Porto for constantly blocking his ambitions to play in the Premier League.

McCarthy, 28, has seen protracted transfer negotiations with West Ham and Everton come to nothing, as well as a previous failed bid by Blackburn for his services.

And McCarthy has explained his frustration and eventual unhappiness at the way Porto treated him.

A Champions League winner with them under Jose Mourinho, McCarthy believes Porto constantly prevented his exit despite knowing how he felt.

The South Africa striker said: 'I wanted to go and I was getting to the stage when I was feeling a little unhappy because every time it got to the point of moving to the Premiership they wouldn't let me go.

'They knew my ambition to play here, and that I wanted to test myself again, but they would not let me leave. I got frustrated, and that leads to unhappiness.

'That means a club does not get the best out of a player. It gets to the stage where things were not going to plan, the way I wanted.'

McCarthy has now finally made a £2.5million move to Ewood Park and added: 'Blackburn kept knocking on the door. They showed interest and never gave up.

'They have been following my career and I want to give them my best years still left in football.'

And McCarthy also revealed the frustrations of playing in a Portuguese league that was uncompetitive.

He said: 'I was not unhappy to leave, it was the right time. I have won everything it is possible to win in Portugal and it was the end of my ambition.

'You know you are going to win the same things over and over again, so you want new challenges. I want it to be tough again.'

Now McCarthy is looking forward to meeting up with Mourinho again and with other former Porto colleagues.

He said: 'I have a lot of friends in England; Nuno Valente, Pedro Mendes and a couple of lads at Chelsea. It says a lot about Mourinho's Porto team that they have all come here and done well.

'I also have an old friend in Quinton Fortune just down the road at Bolton, I have known him since I was a small boy.

'We have been in contact and he has told me that I have been wasting my time playing in Spain and Portugal, that England is the only place to be.'

McCarthy has also teamed up with international colleague Aaron Mokoena at Rovers.

He added: 'He has been talking about me coming here from the moment he knew Blackburn were interested in me.

'The Blackburn players kept asking him what was I like, whether I could play and what sort of player I was. It is always nice to have a friend and fellow countryman at a club you join.

'But I believe he has told everyone I am a superstar, whereas I just consider myself an average player who has something to give to the game.

'I fear he has been building me up too much and I now have something very difficult to live up to!'