Pienaar retires from Bafana

2012-10-02 13:14

Johannesburg - The squad announcement for Bafana Bafana's upcoming international friendlies against Poland and Kenya on Tuesday at SAFA House took a backseat as Steven Pienaar announced his retirement from international soccer.

SAFA CEO Robin Petersen read out a statement the 30-year-old Everton midfielder had sent to the coach and SAFA on Monday.

In the letter read out to the media by Petersen, the player said he was struggling physically with his Bafana role after 10 years of service.

“It is with regret that I wish to advise you that with immediate effect I'm no longer available for selection to represent South Africa,” stated Pienaar in the letter.

Playing for a top English side will have been a key factor in his decision.

“After having given more than 10 years service to the national team I'm now at a stage where physically I'm struggling to balance the demands of playing in England with the number of games required by the national team.

“I'm proud to have represented and captained my country, for this I sincerely thank you and wish the team all the best in the future.”

Newly-appointed Bafana coach Gordon Igesund said he only heard of Pienaar's decision to retire on Monday and thanked the midfielder for his work.

“He's given us 10 years of service and his body is tired,” said Igesund.

“Yesterday was the first time I found out he wanted to retire,” he added.

The coach confirmed Bongani Khumalo will take over as captain of Bafana.

Igesund initially said Pienaar would be welcomed back into the national setup, but later said Pienaar, like any player, would never be guaranteed a place in the national team.

“It's important to understand the door is never closed on any player," Igesund explained.

"It was tough decision. He's being genuine and honest that it's been tough on his body.

“He's given his reasons and we respect his decision.

“It doesn't mean, he can come back and say he's available now. Nobody in this national team will be guaranteed a spot.”

The coach went on to explain the plan for his team no longer involved Pienaar.

“Steven Pienaar is now very far from my thoughts and good luck to him and his Everton side," the former Moroka Swallows boss said.

“There are players that are ready to take over from Steven.”

Bafana head off on Sunday to play two international friendly matches.

They play Poland at the national stadium in Warsaw on October 12 and Kenya, at the national stadium in Nairobi, on October 16.

Local players will assemble on Sunday and arrive in Warsaw on Tuesday October 9, while the overseas-based players will travel directly to Warsaw.

There are nine new players that were not part of the squad that played Brazil and Mozambique in September.

Igesund has called up Slovakia-based Ricardo Nunes, who plays for MSK Zilina.

He is the only newcomer to the squad.

Delron Buckley makes a comeback to the national set-up after a long absence.

Also making a comeback are Luvhengo Mungomeni, Teko Modise, Sifiso Myeni, Oupa Manyisa, George Lebese, Tokelo Rantie and Thabo Nthete.

Bafana squad:

Goalkeepers - Itumeleng Khune, Wayne Sandilands, Moeneeb Josephs. Defenders - Bevan Fransman, Thabo Nthethe, Siyabonga Sangweni, Eric Mathoho, Punch Masenamela, Luvhengo Mungomeni, Bongani Khumalo, Ricardo Nunes.

Midfielders - Oupa Manyisa, Reneilwe Letsholonyane, Siphiwe Tshabalala, Sifiso Myeni, George Lebese, Teko Modise, Delron Buckley, Katlego Mashego, May Mahlangu, Kagisho Dikgacoi, Dean Furman.

Strikers - Lerato Chabangu, Bernard Parker, Dino Ndlovu, Tokelo Rantie.


  • lwazi.vuso - 2012-10-02 13:25

    ... And then?... Why?...

      maune.moima - 2012-10-03 16:47

      wu cares

  • smalefane - 2012-10-02 13:30

    It's amazing that some of the best football players in the world will do whatever it takes to represent their countries. Pienaar is just suffering from "prima dona" syndrome.

  • nani.ngoasheng - 2012-10-02 13:31

    Its about time!

  • nolubabalo.ntlangula - 2012-10-02 13:42


      mbulelo.somzana - 2012-10-02 17:34

      yha ,wenze njengamanye amalawu,ooMcCarthy,Quinton Fortune no Moneeb Joseph bonke benza kanje

  • bwnthako - 2012-10-02 13:44

    This is been selfish at its best, how do u retire when you know thw nation needs you.. People forget where they come from but i must say i doubt it was his decision but he must have faught like other did before but either way go well.......

  • joko.makhoba - 2012-10-02 13:47

    we won't miss U that much stevovo. besides, U have been under-performing in the national team.

  • UNITY - 2012-10-02 13:48

    Its all bout the money these days.. Another Benni.. Cricket the same..its no wonder why we never perform to our full potential. Players use the national squads as stepping stones! Rugby is probably the only sport u can say we give it all..else u get klapped!

  • Thabisoul Motsome - 2012-10-02 13:52

    All I can say is Hamba kahle and Votsek.. We wont miss you..#Coward!!

  • mapudieric.morakiwamachacha - 2012-10-02 13:56

    i wont say i ddnt see it coming, contrary to his performance for everton, he has not been playing well for bafana lately. Indeed we wont miss him

  • kenneth.stanton.148 - 2012-10-02 13:59

    I wish him the gud luck we also have a gud quality player here localy even though it will not easy to fill the gap he left as far as experience is concern

  • justin.hemming.94 - 2012-10-02 14:03

    Thats sad - just continue to play your best for the toffees - but dude, why did u get rid of the hair? Definitely affected your game against Southampton.

  • kholwani.sokulu - 2012-10-02 14:04


  • ndyeboreginaldmazawule - 2012-10-02 14:22

    We will not miss this guy he's been over rated while playing crap for the nation, may he not be available forever.

  • tshepofrank.mongale - 2012-10-02 14:25

    I saw it coming anyway thanks for going! You can also apply for a citizenship there we won't miss you!

  • mzeke.ramoroka - 2012-10-02 14:46

    opportunity opens up for others to take it, it must be grabbed with both hands and I hope some players benefit from this.

  • hallo.daar.56 - 2012-10-02 15:10

    He is our best player.

      khumalo.mtungwa1 - 2012-10-02 19:55

      I love steve

      khumalo.mtungwa1 - 2012-10-02 19:55

      I love steve

  • ntandopraisegod - 2012-10-02 15:17

    Yoh!!! Dat not good though

  • mpho.c.moreki - 2012-10-02 15:19

    Let him go,he will come back running looking to secure a contract with teams like black leapards

  • brian.korobele - 2012-10-02 15:31

    good luck on your journey skilo you have served our nation well...

      dave.e.richman - 2012-10-02 16:00

      A sensible comment amid a sea of bitterness..... well said Brian. Pienaar is the wrong side of 30 now, and unnecessary travelling for meaningless friendlies against non-existent opposition is the last thing he needs right now.

  • dave.e.richman - 2012-10-02 15:36

    Absolutely fantastic news for Everton fans :) Delighted!!!! And, by the looks of the appalling comments before mine, it seems like a great decision by Steven..... NSNO!

  • khathu.rasi - 2012-10-02 15:42

    Jah let him go, he never made any imprssive play for Bafana, only for everton, so hamba asi na ndaba thina, He was just overated

      maune.moima - 2012-10-03 17:01

      Khathu u know soccer wena, dis poy over rated thank God he's gone

  • jos.badimo - 2012-10-02 15:44

    All of the best, until the work permit needs to be renewed. Then you will know and understand not to chop your nose to spite your face.

      dave.e.richman - 2012-10-02 16:32

      Afraid that won't be a factor dude...... He's signed for Everton on a 4 year deal, which will take him beyond the age of 34...... and besides that, he will have long qualified for UK naturalisation - 6 years is the threshold ;)

      tito.mario.927 - 2012-10-04 15:22

      You don't know what you are talking about. Best zip it. Your response it typical of the soccer loving nation. I do detect a sense of jealousy though. How about a thank you for your service to Bafana, ungrateful is not the word.

  • mbulelo.somzana - 2012-10-02 17:31

    To be honest Steven Pienaar never performed well for Bafana Bafana as compared to his great performance when he plays for his overseas clubs.I'm not trying to be racist here but why all Coloured players always dramatise their exit from Bafana Bafana,think of Quinton Fortune,Moneeb Joseph and Benny McCarthy,who's back now.I won't be surprised if Pienaar announces his come back before 2014 World cup.

      tito.mario.927 - 2012-10-04 15:41

      Did you ever think of what the likes of Fortune, Benni and Steven have to deal with, when play in well managed clubs and league structures and then they have to come to deal with SAFA management, who don't know they you need a visa to play in the USA. Could be frustrating when your bosses are highly imcompetent.

  • Linda Zwane - 2012-10-02 18:22

    where is Thulani Serero the next best player for country and club!

  • Donald.rodrigues.matlala - 2012-10-02 20:31

    Good luck skillo, we won't miss u though! dean furman wl fit in jst nicely in ur position

  • mbuso.zondo.9 - 2012-10-02 20:56

    oooh!!! now you've got your indefinate to stay in the UK and you don't need to run to the British Consulate to renew your work permit as it requires a number of national games, good luck let's hope you stay there forever and don't come back to SA

      tito.mario.927 - 2012-10-04 15:34

      Sour grapes, why the hostility. could it be a bit of envy because of his achievements, and then.... you have a look at your own life and realise that in your lifetime you won't achieve a quarter of what he has done. Damn life is cruel isn't it.

  • tokollo.moeletsi - 2012-10-03 07:40

    Schillo is a great player but has never really performed for Bafana. His club football is at a respectful standard but that never really transpired to the national team. Again our national team has never performed well in the past decade so it is a good decision for him to retire from international football. We did need his presence and experience ahead of next year’s African Nations Cup but there are other players that can fill the gap. Good luck Schillo and thank you for captaining our nation.

      tito.mario.927 - 2012-10-04 15:35

      Lionel Messi will look a lot more ordinary in the Bafana setup.

  • rory.beckett.96 - 2012-10-03 08:50

    All you coloured haters u know where to shove it. Fortune , benny ang steven have been our best exports. Black players play in all lower leagues across the world, jomo played in the usa and u make him out to be pele? Only rhuuu radebe made it at the highest level, thats because black players are spoilt locally and coloureds have to overcome more barriers to make it.

  • dominic.manyage - 2012-10-03 10:08

    Who cares? We have good players who r better than you Steve.

  • maune.moima - 2012-10-03 16:47

    Benni style neh, when ther's a serious tournament he comes back akere...! Am happy 2hear dis coz am not a big fan of Piennar n 2me, he was just USELESS...I dnt c any footbal btwin dose legs, as being a Captain of our National team...mxm..I disagree, mention da likes of Khune ja den il understand. Thanx poy u'v just made my day !

      tito.mario.927 - 2012-10-04 15:38

      Your comments say a lot about your soccer analytical skills. Phew, evolution can sometimes be a painful process.

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