Pienaar on the hunt for PSL action
Midfielder wants to end his career where it all started
Former Bafana Bafana midfielder Steven Pienaar has sent a come-and-get-me plea to willing PSL clubs. After spending 17 years in different European clubs, the 35-year-old says he is back home for good.
Pienaar says he is open to offers as he wants to end his career here, where it all started.
The midfielder, who was part of relegated English Premiership side Sunderland last season, says he is ready to dazzle South African supporters one last time before hanging up his boots.
“I am home for good till Jesus comes,” he jokes when we meet outside the Westbury Oval sports grounds, where his annual community tournament is taking place.
“My time in Europe is over, and I knew when I signed for Sunderland that it’d be my last club there. I think I have done my time and I have no more ambition to play abroad.”
He says one of the reasons he wants to come back home is to be closer to his mum, Denise.
“Maybe Benni [McCarthy, the new Cape Town City coach] will give me a call to come play for him,” he says with a smile.
However, he says a lot will depend on whether his three little girls get admitted to local schools.
“They are everything to me and I must make sure they live comfortably. I’m working on their papers to make sure they get permanent residence permits.” Last season, he was linked with moves to either Orlando Pirates, Kaizer Chiefs or Mamelodi Sundowns, but nothing materialised. He says he will not say much until there is something in black and white. “I haven't heard anything from my manager [Rob Moore].” However, hinted he might be willing to stay in Johannesburg and join one of the Gauteng clubs. “It will depend – if the offer is good, I will say yes because I can’t work for free; no one works for free as they have to pay the bills.” He says he has enjoyed his time in all the countries he has played in – Holland, Germany and England. His overseas career started at Ajax Amsterdam before he moved to Germany’s Borussia Dortmund, then to England, where he featured for Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland. “My kids are Dutch, and Amsterdam has been my second home. Obviously, Ajax is a massive club and I won trophies there. I have made lots of friends and will miss [the city of] Liverpool too.” “There are lots of things I want to do away from football and I just have to put all my energy into them.” He has no intentions of becoming a coach because he has no stamina to go through the courses. “I have plenty of study material, but couldn’t get to go through it. Before I open a book, I think I have been away from my kids and it is not nice to come home late and leave early, sometimes going to camps. Being a coach, you must be at the ground early. Maybe I can become an agent or a motivational speaker for kids,” he chuckles. He says he was surprised by Bafana Bafana’s performance against Nigeria last weekend and says they should build on that. He says hosting his tournament on Youth Day was very significant to his life. “Most people went through a lot to make sure we have this special day of freedom. I want to make sure my children know what it means to them – not just a public holiday, something more than that. A lot of people sacrificed a lot.”
TIME UP Steven Pienaar says his time in Europe has come to an end