WITH A heavy heart, Steven Jerome Pienaar has announced his resignation from football after 19 years’.
The 35-year old, Westbury born- Johannesburg, said the decision was as a result of family commitments but also mentioned he’s busy ‘cooking’ up something in months to come.
Having been capped 62 times as Bafana captain and player, “Schillo” as he’s known came back home after signing with PSL side Bidvest Wits, albeit for a very short spell- a moment he says ‘it just did not work out’.
In his glorious career, he had stints with world’s beaters such as Ajax Amsterdam, Borussia Dortmund, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and finally Sunderland.
“For every footballer it is a difficult decision to make. If you play for so long and you come to the end of the book and you have to close it, it is difficult,” he was quoted by SowetanLIVE.
“If you know what you want after your career you just have to be open to yourself and accept it. For me the last year or couple of months I have been dwelling on the decision.
“I knew at some stage it was going to happen, but first I needed to feel peace to say, ‘this is it’. It took me a while, but it is time.”
He also mentioned his Mom (Denise) -whom he spoke fondly of- was instrumental in making the decision.
“She once asked me: when will you take a rest from all this football and take care of your kids?” When you hear such questions you should know its time to make decisions,” emotionally, he told Thomas Mlambo on SABC sport show.
On what led to him ditching Bafana at the most crucial times and on why did he turn his back on South Africans, he said behind the scenes developments led to the decision.
“It was bound to happen. Security gave me unfair treatment when I brought my own Doctor for my back check-up. That did not go well as he thought I had overlooked him, but for me it was about medical check-up in preparation for the team. And it did not happen once or twice.
As a result, I felt I can’t stomach anymore of this, hence the decision to write a letter to SAFA informing them of my stance,” he said.
“All I would like to say is thank you South African’s for giving me a chance to represent you wholeheartedly, and unfortunately, one had to make a decision owing to the behind the scenes that we players go through at times”, quipped “Schillo”, who was managed by one of SA’s top agent’s Rob Moore.
Upon his return to mzansi and top teams jostling for his signature, he ended up joining Wits.
The midfied maestro was welcomed with open arms and the country was preparing to see glimpse of what he could deliver at the former PSL champs, alas the appearance was short lived, as he did not live up to the expectations, a subject he did not dwell much on.
Jokingly, he said he will now afford to go to shops, walk on streets and play with kids -as part of making up for the past 19 year’s concentrating on his career. He also pointed out he can speak a bit of iSizulu which he learnt while at School of Excellence.
Legend has it that Pienaar grew up watching football matches in which the referees would sometimes use a gun instead of a whistle. That’s how bad Westbury was as reports of gangsterism, drugs, gun-shootings were the order of the day.
His former girlfriend, Danielle Steeneveld, tried to sue him because he didn’t marry her after they had a child together.
Either entering the business world or contemplate coaching, “Schillo” you have written history in the same annals such as export Lucas “Rhoo” Radebe and UEFA winner Benny McCarthy.