Benni McCarthy

The record goalscorer in South Africa's history, Benni McCarthy joined West Ham United from Blackburn Rovers for an undisclosed fee on 1 February 2010.

Born in Cape Town in November 1977, the talented forward has scored hatfuls of goals wherever he has played, enjoying successful spells with Ajax, Celta Vigo, FC Porto and Blackburn before moving to the Boleyn Ground.

At club level, the highlight of McCarthy's illustrious career came in May 2004, when he was part of the Porto side that won the UEFA Champions League under Jose Mourinho, appearing as a substitute for the final 12 minutes of the Portuguese side's 2-0 victory over AS Monaco.

Having started his career at Seven Stars and Ajax Cape Town in his homeland, McCarthy moved to Amsterdam, joining Ajax in 1997. His first season in the Netherlands was marked by nine goals in 16 games and a Dutch league title. The following season, eleven goals in 19 league games tempted Spanish club Celta Vigo into taking him to La Liga.

While the goals did not flow at Celta, they did during a loan spell at Porto, where he scored an amazing 12 in six league matches in 2001/02. After an unproductive 2002/03 campaign back in Spain, he returned to Portugal on a permanent basis.

The move proved to be a successful one as McCarthy banged in 33 goals in 74 league matches, adding eight more in 25 appearances in European competition. Among those European goals were two in a vital first knockout stage win over Manchester United en route to UEFA Champions League glory in 2003/04.

Aside from the biggest prize in European football, McCarthy also won one Intercontinental Cup, two Portuguese league titles, one Portuguese Cup and two Portuguese Super Cups during his time at the Estadio do Dragao.

A host of Premier League clubs expressed an interest in bringing the striker to England, including West Ham, Everton and Blackburn Rovers. It would be Rovers who would win the race for his signature, however, completing the signing in July 2006.

McCarthy's time at Ewood Park saw him score 18 goals in his first full season, and 52 in 140 games in total, before moving south to London in January 2010.

At international level, McCarthy has netted more than 30 goals for his country, making him the highest scorer in South Africa's history. Having made his debut against the Netherlands in June 1997, the forward formed part of the Bafana Bafana squad at the 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cup finals.

McCarthy announced his arrival on the international stage in stunning fashion by scoring all four goals in South Africa's 4-1 victory over Namibia at the 1998 Africa Cup of Nations.

Four years later, in 2002, the striker scored in his nation's 3-2 defeat by Spain at the FIFA World Cup in South Korea before netting the equaliser in a 2-1 friendly defeat by England in Durban later that year.