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Steven Jerome Pienaar (born 17 March 1982) is a South African footballer who currently plays for English club Everton and was captain of the South African national team until October 2012. He primarily plays attacking midfield. He can play on either the right or left wing. Pienaar has previously played for Ajax Cape Town, Ajax, Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur.

CareerEdit

Ajax Cape TownEdit

Pienaar was born in Johannesburg, Gauteng. He started his professional career at Ajax Cape Town, some 1,400 kilometres (870 mi) away from his home in Johannesburg. He was brought to the attention of Ajax CT whilst playing for the School of Excellence and was asked to join their youth academy.

Pienaar said "I was very fortunate to go to the School of Excellence 2000, to be able to polish the technique and the talent that God gave me and to learn how to use it in the way that God had wanted me to."[4] "I was fortunate to work with the Dutch coach Leo van Veen, who helped me at Ajax Cape Town... He appreciated the way I played but at the same time he changed my mentality. He taught me how to prepare for games, not just playing to please the crowd but also how to play for the team."[4]

At Ajax Cape Town he won the Rothman's Cup beating Orlando Pirates 4–1 in the final on 13 December 2000, in what was to be his final game for the club.[5] [1][2]Pienaar with Ajax===Ajax=== Aged 18, he was brought over to the Netherlands in January 2001 but did not make his Eredivisie début until 24 February 2002 – in a 1–0 victory over NAC Breda. He became a pivotal member of the Ajax team that won the Dutch League in 2002 and 2004. Pienaar shone as one of Ajax's best players alongside stars such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Maxwell, Cristian Chivu, Mido, Nigel de Jong, Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder and future Everton team-mate John Heitinga. Andy van der Meyde, who had a forgettable stint at Goodison Park, was also in that squad. [3][4]Pienaar at Dortmund===Borussia Dortmund=== In January 2006, German club Borussia Dortmund signed Pienaar on a three-year contract from Ajax. Seen as a replacement for Arsenal-bound Tomáš Rosický, Pienaar's first year with Borussia Dortmund saw him receive the number 10 shirt vacated by the Czech playmaker. Pienaar struggled at Dortmund and was never accepted by the players at the club.[6]

EvertonEdit

Pienaar joined Everton on loan for 2007–08 and later signed a three-year contract from Dortmund for a pre-agreed fee of £2 million after payment of an initial loan fee of £350,000 in April 2008.[7] Pienaar made his debut for Everton in a 2–1 home victory over Wigan Athletic on 11 August 2007, replacing Leon Osman in the 73rd minute as a substitute.[8] Pienaar scored his first Everton goal in a 2–0 home victory over Middlesbrough on 30 September.[9] He produced some stand out performances and this led to many clubs showing interest in him.

Despite missing eleven games through injury, Pienaar was named Everton's Player of the Season for 2009–10.[2]

Tottenham HotspurEdit

In January 2011, both Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur had bids accepted to buy Pienaar from Everton before the South African joined Spurs for a fee of £3 million on a four-year contract.[10] He made his Tottenham debut in a 1–1 draw away to Newcastle United.[11] In August 2011, Pienaar suffered a groin injury, which ruled him out for six weeks.[12] Pienaar scored his first goal for Tottenham in a 4–0 victory over Shamrock Rovers in the Europa League on 15 December.[13]

Pienaar's spell at Tottenham was characterised by persistent injuries and not much impact in games which resulted him rarely featuring in the team.[14]

Return to EvertonEdit

Late on transfer deadline day in January 2012, Pienaar completed a return to Everton on a six-month loan deal.[15] He made his second debut for the club in a 1–1 draw away to Wigan Athletic,[16] and scored his first goal of his loan spell with opener in a 2–0 win over Chelsea a week later.[17] Pienaar finished the season by scoring against Newcastle United, stating in a post-match interview his wish to rejoin Everton. Despite only playing in 14 games, and being cup-tied from the FA Cup, Pienaar finished his spell with six assists, the most of anyone at Everton for the season.[18] He also scored four goals, which is his joint-best tally in the league out of his five seasons with the club.[19]

A permanent transfer was agreed in July 2012, with Everton paying Tottenham Hotspur a fee of £4.5 million.[20] On 25 August 2012, he scored his first goal since signing permanently, opening the scoring in a 3–1 away win against Aston Villa.[21] On 9 December, Pienaar scored a powerful header against former club Tottenham, Everton's 1000th goal in the Premier League, as Everton came from a goal down to win 2–1 at Goodison.[22]

International careerEdit

A former under-17 international,[3] he made his international debut for South African national side in a 2–0 win against Turkey in 2002 and has since accumulated 61 caps and scored three goals. He participated at the 2002 and 2010 World Cups.[23]

On 2 October 2012, he announced his retirement from international duties.[24][25]

International goalsEdit

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 3 July 2004 Johannesburg, South Africa  Burkina Faso 1–0 2–0 2006 FIFA World Cup Qual.
2 26 March 2005 Johannesburg, South Africa  Uganda 2–1 2–1 2006 FIFA World Cup Qual.
3 9 February 2011 Rustenburg, South Africa  Kenya 2–0 2–0 International friendly

Career statisticsEdit

As of match played 12 January 2013.
Club Season League Cup League Cup Continental Other[26] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Ajax Cape Town 1999–00 13 5 0 0 0 0 13 5
2000–01 11 1 0 0 0 0 11 1
Total 24 6 0 0 0 0 24 6
Ajax 2001–02 8 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 1
2002–03 31 5 2 0 12 2 0 0 45 7
2003–04 16 3 0 0 5 0 0 0 21 3
2004–05 24 4 2 0 4 0 1 1 31 5
2005–06 15 2 0 0 9 0 2 0 26 2
Total 94 15 4 0 30 2 3 1 131 18
Borussia Dortmund 2006–07 25 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 27 0
Total 25 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 27 0
Everton (loan) 2007–08 28 2 1 0 3 0 8 0 0 0 40 2
Everton 2008–09 28 2 6 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 35 2
2009–10 30 4 2 0 0 0 6 3 0 0 38 7
2010–11 18 1 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 20 1
Total 104 9 9 0 5 0 15 3 0 0 133 12
Tottenham Hotspur 2010–11 8 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 11 0
2011–12 2 0 2 0 0 0 3 1 0 0 7 1
Total 10 0 3 0 0 0 5 1 0 0 18 1
Everton (loan) 2011–12 14 4 14 4
Everton 2012–13 21 4 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 22 4
Total 35 8 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 36 8
Career total 292 38 18 0 6 0 50 6 3 1 369 45

Personal lifeEdit

Pienaar is a Christian. He grew up with his mother Denise and two sisters and one brother in Westbury, a township on the outskirts of Johannesburg during the apartheid era. He was once beaten up in a neighbouring white Township of Triomf and also lost a childhood friend, who was killed by a bullet, both incidents were because of the colour of his skin. Pienaar was also shot with daisy guns.[27]

As a child, Pienaar watched TV while sitting on the floor at his home in Westbury, where he was not allowed to sit on the couch for his mother's fear of him being shot.[27]

Pienaar's home was broken into while he was playing for Everton in Europe. Police were called to the mansion on Woolton Road, in the early hours of the morning.[citation needed]

Pienaar is commonly referred to by his nickname "Schillo"[28] in South Africa, a childhood nickname given to him by friends after the exploits of Totò Schillaci during the 1990 World Cup.[29]

ControversyEdit

Pienaar's ex-girlfriend Danielle Steeneveld attempted to sue Pienaar for ZAR10.8million in August 2009 for not marrying her.[30][31] Steeneveld, the mother of Pienaar's daughter Skyla, claimed that Pienaar broke a promise to wed and ended their two-year relationship "without just cause", she also claimed that Pienaar took away her contraception so she would become pregnant and that her reputation has been tarnished as she is an unmarried mother and "emotionally traumatised".[31][32][33][32] The case was later dismissed.[27]

Of the claims, Pienaar said: "My faith is really strong and helps me in difficult times, like when my little girl Skyla’s mother started making up these stories about me after we broke up. If people wanted to believe them, fine. I kept quiet, because it was someone looking for attention, and I was not going to get drawn into her games."[27]

Pienaar was charged with drunk-driving and failure to comply with a traffic sign in central Liverpool during February 2010. [34] He was subsequently found guilty of driving whilst under the influence of alcohol, and banned from driving for 12 months. [35]

In April 2012, a warrant was issued for Pienaar's arrest after he failed to appear before Chelmsford Magistrate's court on two counts of speeding.[36]

AdvertisingEdit

In the run up to the 2010 World Cup, Pienaar was involved in a high-profile adidas sportswear advertising campaign.[37]

HonoursEdit

ClubEdit

Ajax Cape Town
Ajax Amsterdam

IndividualEdit