You know how in fairy tales the princess is rescued by a handsome prince and they fall deeply and madly in love at first sight? Well, unfortunately real life doesn't always work like that. It doesn't mean happy endings don't exist, sometimes it just doesn't happen the first time.
Benni McCarthy is one of South Africa's most famous soccer coaches and he was a fan favourite to replace Molefi Ntseki as the Bafana Bafana head coach.
Whether in sport or in life, we often have to endure failure before finally securing that life-changing.
While McCarthy is proving in his professional career at AmaZulu that he is a skilled coach, he also knows what it is like to win in his personal life following failure.
On 24 May, McCarthy and his wife, Stacey, are celebrating seven years of marriage. However, their love story proves that happiness isn't always found on the first try.
Second time's the charm
On 24 May, 2014, Benni McCarthy and Stacey Munro exchanged vows in front of their friends and family. They have been going strong ever since, with the 43-year-old coach often doting on his wifey online.
It is hard to image McCarthy without his Stacey but there was a time when he was promised to someone else.
More than a decade before marrying Stacey, Benni said "I do" to another woman. In 2000, McCarthy married Maria Santos, whom he met after he moved to Spain to play for Celta Vigo.
The then 23-year-old footballer and Maria seemed to be madly in love and he courted her in less than a year before tying the knot.
In 2002, McCarthy was sent to Porto on loan before it became a permanent deal in 2003. The former South African striker remained there until 2006 and his marriage was doing well.
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However, in 2006, McCarthy signed with the Blackburn Rovers in England, and his marriage started to crumble.
According to Buzz South Africa, McCarthy revealed Maria, with whom he shares three daughters, was not willing to relocate to England.
He was quoted saying that Spanish people do not like to leave their home country and even the players who left couldn't wait to return.
In an interview with Times LIVE, the AmaZulu coach revealed he was heartbroken about his divorce from the Spanish beauty and he dreamed of giving his daughters a better life.
Meet the current Mrs McCarthy
Stacey Munro is a blonde bombshell, who reportedly did modelling work in her home country. The couple dated for several years before becoming engaged in 2013. McCarthy and his stunning missus tied the knot in Scotland and the former footballer even wore a kilt on his wedding day as tribute to Stacey's heritage.
The couple spared no expense with their special day - which reportedly included fireworks, dancing, good food and quality bubbly.
McCarthy's close friends and family flew in from South Africa to witness the nuptials, Briefly News learned.
Their daughter, Lima, was born two years before they couple tied the knot and Stacey shared a throwback snap of the little girl at the wedding.
"Lima looked so beautiful in her dress."
Happily ever after in real life
After making their vows in Scotland, the newly weds moved to Cape Town where they raise their kids now. However, the family spends time in Scotland too and have even gone on trips to Spain to visit McCarthy's daughters.
It is not clear whether Stacey is employed or if she took on the role of stay at home mom (which, let's be honest, is a job on its own). One thing is for sure, the Scottish-born beauty is her husband's biggest supporter.
Last week, Stacey took to Instagram to congratulate McCarthy on being name coach of the month for the second time in a row.
She shared a photo of her hubby and wrote:
"Coach of the month again. You continue to show your greatness. We love you."
Take a look at the post below:
Benni McCarthy is one proud daddy
McCarthy has five children - three daughters, Minna (16), Miya (15), and Allegra (13), from his previous marriage and two kids, Lima Rose (9) and Lio Romero (2), with Stacey.
In 2011, McCarthy revealed Maria has custody of their three daughters because he preferred having their mother take care of them.
"As a footballer you travel a lot and I prefer the kids growing up with their mother. I get to see them on holidays and any time I want to."
Lima and Lio live with their parents and McCarthy often posts snaps of them on his social media pages. The youngest McCarthy siblings even have their own Instagram accounts.
On father's day last year, Lima shared a snap of herself with her famous dad.
The sweet image was captioned:
"Happy Father's Day Dad. I love you so much @bennimac17."
McCarthy responded to the post, writing:
"I love you too very much my princess."
Take a look at the post below:
Seeing as Lio is only two this year, it is safe to say he isn't running the Instagram page by himself.
McCarthy revealed his kids are the driving force behind his hard work
Any good parent wants to give their children the best in life, especially when they themselves grew up knowing hardships. McCarthy has revealed in the past that he dreams of giving his children the type of life didn't have growing up.
"I don't ever want to be in situation where their daddy was a popular footballer and now they have to go and work for a pittance. I want them to have the best upbringing and nothing like I had it growing up in Hanover Park (on the Cape Flats)."
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