Longtime Everton midfielder Pienaar retires

Getty Images

After a nearly 20-year professional career, Stevan Pienaar has decided to hang up the boots.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ]

“Today I am announcing my retirement from football,” Pienaar said. “I just want to say thanks to my mom and my family and all the clubs that I have played for and the supporters off course, how can I forget you”, he said. “Thanks for the love throughout my career. Follow my social media, there’s an announcement coming up soon and you guys will be the first to know.”

After beginning his career with Ajax Cape Town and making the move to the original Ajax in Amsterdam, Pienaar began a nine-year stay at Everton after a year at Borussia Dortmund and sandwiched with a move to Tottenham. The 35-year-old made 210 appearances for the club and also made more than 60 appearances for the Bafana Bafana, South Africa’s National Team, including representing them at the 2002 World Cup and on home soil at the 2010 World Cup.

Pienaar also played last season for Sunderland, though he was unable to keep them from avoiding relegation.

Former clubs of Pienaar reached out with warm wishes on social media on his retirement from playing.