Much-loved former Everton winger Steven Pienaar announced his retirement from football yesterday, sending Toffees back down memory lane as they reminisced on his two spells with the Blues. With his left sided partner Leighton Baines fading in recent years, it was indeed a wistful jaunt as we thought again of those glorious ‘Bainaar’ days when the pair absolutely terrorized every single right back in the Premier League with their subliminal communication, deft footwork and incisive vision down the wing.
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
Pienaar will be celebrating his 36th birthday in just a couple of weeks, and has decided now is the time to hang up his boots, following a career that saw him play in South Africa, Germany and England, including four stints at Everton: on loan from Borussia Dortmund 2007-08, transferred in 2008-11, back on a loan from Tottenham Hotspur in 2012, and then transferred back in from 2012-16.
In total, Pienaar featured for the Blues 229 times, scoring 26 goals and picking up 48 assists.He also garnered 41 bookings and 3 sendings off in that time. A mainstay of the side during the David Moyes era, he also had 10 youth international caps and 62 senior international appearances for Bafana Bafana, the South Africa national team.
His love for the club was reciprocated by the fans, who absolutely adored him. Look how he crushed he looked when he ‘left’ in 2012.
| #TBT to an emotional @therealstevenpi saying 'goodbye' to Goodison after a loan spell in 2012, not knowing if he would sign for #EFC for a fourth time.— Everton (@Everton) March 1, 2018
*Spoiler* - he did and we still you, Steven! pic.twitter.com/oq7fY0Wtd6
There’s lots we can say about the wily winger, but let’s turn it over to you the fans, what was your favourite Pienaar moment? Here’s a compilation from the club.
Thank you for your dedicated service to the Blues, Steven. Your love for the Club is like your faith, unflinching and unwavering. God bless you and wish you all the best in your future. COYB!