Steven Pienaar announces retirement from football after 18 years in the game
Former Bafana Bafana captain Steven Pienaar has officially announced his retirement from football after an illustrious 18 year career.
Pienaar who left Bidvest Wits after just six months after joining July 2017 became a household name across the world after representing some of the biggest clubs in Europe.
“Today I’m announcing my retirement from football,” Pienaar said in a video posted on Twitter. “I just want to say thanks to my mum, my family and all the clubs that I’ve played for and the supporters ofcourse, how could I forget you guys.
“Thanks for the love throughout my career. Follow me on social media, there’s an announcement coming soon and you guys will be the first to know.
“Thanks for the love.”
It’s been an amazing ride made more special by you, the fans. Thank You. It’s been an honour. pic.twitter.com/qsy4bZCLjT— Steven Pienaar (@therealstevenpi) February 28, 2018
The 35-year-old started his career at Ajax Cape Town before making the move as an 18-year-old to Dutch giants Ajax Amsterdam where he won the Eredivisie twice in 2002 and 2004 alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Rafael van der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder.
The midfielder then secured a move to German side Borussia Dortmund before moving again to Everton in the English Premiership where he was named Player of the Year for the 2009/2010 season.
An impressive stint at Everton— forming one of the league’s deadliest left-sided partnerships with left-back Leighton Baines saw “Schillo” earn cult status at the club— with big names such as Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur interested in his services― before joining the latter on a four-year deal.
After failing to secure a permanent starting berth in a side boasting talents such as Gareth Bale, Pienaar moved back to Everton and finished his career in England at Sunderland under long-time mentor David Moyes.
The former Bafana Bafana captain earned 61 international caps representing South Africa at the 2002 and 2010 World Cups. —Sport24