South Africa's Steven Pienaar retires from football

South African forward Steven Pienaar hangs up his boots
Former Everton forward Steven Pienaar has announced his retirement from football

Former South Africa captain Steven Pienaar has announced his retirement from football at the age of 35.

The Former Bafana Bafana captain confirmed the news on Wednesday.

"Today I am announcing my retirement from football. I just want to say thanks to my mum and my family and all the clubs that I have played for and the supporters off course how can I forget you", he said.

"Thank you for the love throughout my career".

The 35-year-old, who made more than 60 appearances for South Africa, is one of the country's all time great football exports.

He had a successful career in the English Premier League, most notably with Everton and Sunderland.

He also played for Dutch side Ajax and Borussia Dortmund in Germany.

He won two league titles with Ajax Amsterdam and made a total 150 appearances for Everton.

He had most recently been playing for Bidvest Wits in his home country.

South African forward Steven Pienaar hangs up his boots
South Africa captain Steven Pienaar made more than 60 appearances for his country

Pienaar represented the Bafana Bafana at two World Cups; in 2002 and in 2010 on home soil.

Some of his former clubs have been paying tribute to Pienaar on social media.

"Thanks for your service to Ajax. We loved your smile, dancing and great way of playing football! You are always welcome in Amsterdam, Steven!", Ajax Amsterdam said.

Everton also wrote to their former player: "Congratulations on a superb career, @therealstevenpi and thank you for your service in the royal blue. Best of luck in retirement. We hope to see you at Goodison soon!".

Germany Bundesliga side, Borrussia Dortmund followed up with: "Steven #Pienaar just announced the end of his long and successful career. Nice that you have spent a part of it in Dortmund, @therealstevenpi!"

West Ham manager, David Moyes, who signed Pienaar twice for Everton recently told BBC Africa of his fondness for the South African.

"I've signed Steven Pienaar three times. He was fantastic for me over the years and a great footballer. Loved working with him," said Moyes.

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