Pienaar stalls on Premiership return
Former Bafana Bafana captain Steven Pienaar says he may return to the Eredivisie for one more season in Europe before ending his career in the South African Premiership.
The veteran playmaker's contract with Sunderland expires at the end of June and after a decade in the English Premier League with Everton, Tottenham and the Black Cats - Pienaar admits his time in England is up.
At the age of 35, the slender frame of the technically gifted player can no longer handle the rigors of the England top-flight but after being linked with a return home to Cape Town City, Kaizer Chiefs, and Orlando Pirates - Pienaar remained coy on the speculation.
"The wear and tear has been showing over the last two years. Because of the way my body is and the kind of player I am‚ I've been through a lot," he told TimesLIVE. "But to play 10 years at that level is an achievement on its own. And I must say I'm proud of myself to go through that.
"Obviously the pace of the game is higher in England than in other countries. And for me‚ I told myself‚ listen I'm not going to fool myself and say I'll try another year.
"I might try another year in Holland. Because the pace of the game is slower. It's more tactical. But in England‚ no chance."
When asked directly about the links to the Buccaneers, the club he supported growing up, the former Ajax Amsterdam midfielder issued a come and get me plea via the Sowetan.
"My career is coming to an end. Your last two years you want to play at a club where you feel loved," he said. "A club where you want to be there. It's not like you're playing where you just want to finish.
"I want to go to a club where I'm welcome‚ where I can play here (in SA) and finish in a nice way."
Since leaving Ajax Cape Town in 2000, Pienaar has 429 times for Ajax Amsterdam, Borussia Dortmund, and his spell in the Premier League - scoring 45 goals and registering 73 assists.
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