Steven Pienaar enjoys legendary status in his homeland of South Africa and was a fan-favourite during his time with Everton, winning the club’s Player of the season award in 2009-10 as well as the South African Football Association (SAFA) player of the year in 2009.
As a teenager plying his trade for South African outfit Ajax Cape Town, Pienaar showed tremendous potential and eventually sealed a move to Cape Town’s sister club, Ajax Amsterdam in Holland in 2001.
While on the books of Ajax in Holland, he showed tremendous potential, being crowned as AFC Ajax talent of the year in 2003. Remarkably, Pienaar was also the UEFA Champions League top assist provider during the 2005-06 season. He was a key part of the Ajax team which went on to win the Dutch Eredivisie in 2002 and 2004.
Pienaar moved to Borussia Dortmund in 2006 and was seen as a replacement for Tomas Rosicky who had joined Arsenal. He was never really able to flourish with the German outfit and ended up joining Everton for his first spell in 2008.
Piennar played some of the best football of his career during his first stint at the club between 2008-2011 and won the club’s player of the season award. He moved to Tottenham in 2011 but was never able to establish himself at the North London club. This led to him being loaned back to the Toffees in January 2012 before the deal was made permanent later that summer.
Piennar’s second stint with the Toffees between 2012-2016 produced some scintillating displays as well but was not as grand as his first spell with the club. He moved to Sunderland ahead of the 2016-17 season and was reunited with former Toffees boss David Moyes. However, neither he nor Moyes were able to save the Black Cats as they finished off the Premier League season in last place and were relegated.
As many players do, Pienaar opted to return to his homeland of South Africa following the expiration of his contract with Sunderland. He signed for Bidvest Wits but did not manage to impress. He eventually retired from professional football in March 2018.
Pienaar also played for the South African national team, between 2002-2012. During his ten year international career, he made 61 appearances, scoring 3 goals and represented his country during the 2002 and 2010 World Cup’s.
He was announced as Everton’s first international ambassador in April 2018.