Former South Africa captain Steven Pienaar announced his retirement from professional football on Wednesday night.
Everton spell his most fruitful
The 35-year-old midfielder had a successful career in the English Premier League, most notably with Everton.
Pienaar played his best football at Goodison Park, helping the Toffees qualify for several European competitions and winning the club’s player of the season in 2009-10.
He also signed for Premier League outfits Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland, German side Borussia Dortmund and Dutch giants Ajax.
With the Bafana Bafana, Pienaar made more than 60 appearances and is considered as one of South Africa’s all-time great football exports.
He represented South Africa in the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, and the 2010 edition on home soil.
Pienaar: “It was a very difficult decision”
The former Bafana Bafana captain announced his retirement via a video post on Twitter.
'Today I am announcing my retirement from football. I just want to say thanks to my mum and my family and all the clubs that I have played for and the supporters off course how can I forget you', he said.
'Thank you for the love throughout my career'.
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) 28 February 2018
Talking to KweséESPN, Pienaar mentioned that it was a very difficult decision that had been wandering around his mind for some time.
'It was a very difficult decision but now it has been made it is a weight lifted off my shoulders. I am looking forward to what comes next,' Pienaar said.
'It is something that had been on my mind for some time, but I needed to make peace with it first before I could take the decision. I have now done that and it is a good feeling.'
That Manchester United goal
In an interview with Sky Sports News, Pienaar said that scoring the goal that denied Manchester United the Premier League title in 2012 was the highlight of his career.
'My favourite moment? Obviously, signing for Everton and scoring the equaliser against Man United to deny them the title - that was something special for me,' the South African said.
Back in April 2012, Pienaar picked out his 85th-minute equaliser at Old Trafford in a dramatic 4-4 draw that prevented Man Utd from retaining the Premier League title in 2012 and led to Manchester City lifting the trophy.