‘Waking up at 7:00 pushed me to retire’ – Steve Pienaar

‘Waking up at 7:00 pushed me to retire’ – Steve Pienaar
Former South African internationals Steven Pienaar and Benni McCarthy

by Phumzile Ngcatshe

Friday Mar 02, 2018. 10:30

Following his decision to retire from professional football, former Bafana Bafana midfielder Steven Pienaar has revealed his reasoning.

‘Schillo’ said waking up at 7:00 am to go to training with Bidvest Wits in Johannesburg influenced his decision to close down the curtain.

The Westbury-born player joined the reigning South Afrcan Absa Premiership champions at the beginning of the current campaign, but was released in January this year.

Having also represented clubs such as Ajax Cape Town, Amsterdam, Everton and Sunderland in the English Premier League, the 35-year-old announced his retirement on Wednesday night.

"What I went through in the last five months tilted the bucket more towards me retiring," he said to Kick-Off.com.

"I joined them in Cape Town for pre-season, but when we came back in my second week, I had already approached the coach and told him that 'coach I don’t think I can do this thing of waking up so early at seven in the morning to attend training.

“It is the first time in my career that I am waking up at 07:00 to go to training for a session that starts at 09:00.'

"He just said to me I will get used to it, but at my age, I couldn't put up with sitting in the car for an hour or an hour-and-a-half just to get to training.

“Every morning, I was complaining, and I just thought: 'This is not how I want to spend my last year playing football.’’

Pienaar represented his country on 61 occasions, two FIFA World Cups, the Confederations Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations.

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