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v Arsenal

Saturday 23 August K.O. 17:30

22

Steven Pienaar

Midfielder

Steven Pienaar
  • Born: 17/03/1982
  • Birthplace: Johannesburg
  • Nationality: South African
  • Apps/ Goals: 222 (15) / 25
  • Debut: Wigan (Home) 11/08/2007
  • Steven Pienaar first joined Everton in the summer of 2007.

    Pienaar had already linked up with his new teammates in Los Angeles when confirmation of his work permit came through.

    The one-year loan deal meant Everton had secured the services of one of the bright lights of South African football.

    Pienaar emerged as one of the hottest talents in the game whilst playing for Ajax Amsterdam. Before plying his trade in the Eredivisie, he began his career at Ajax Cape Town - the satellite club of the Dutch side.

    Pienaar excelled during his time at Ajax and was part of very forward thinking side that contained one-time Everton man Andy van der Meyde and Zlatan Ibrahimovic - now at Paris Saint Germain.

    While in Holland he gained some vital European experience through participation in Ajax's Champions League campaigns.

    In January 2006, Borussia Dortmund secured the services of the South African on a three-year contract. Pienaar was signed as a direct replacement for the Arsenal bound Tomas Rosicky.

    The versatile midfielder is known for his dynamic displays and was part of the South African squad at the 2002 World Cup.

    Steven's Everton career began brightly and he scored his first goal for the Blues in the 2-0 victory against Middlesbrough in September.

    Pienaar became an integral part of the Toffees midfield, with his creativity a vital part of Everton's attacking play.

    He played for South Africa at the 2008 African Cup of Nations in Ghana, but returned to Goodison with an injury.

    Pienaar was back in action by the end of February - but his long term future soon became a topic of debate.

    Any worries were soon put to bed though, as Everton concluded a deal with Dortmund in April that saw Pienaar make his move permanent for the bargain fee of £2.05million.

    He signed a three-year deal until the summer of 2011.

    A toe injury kept Pienaar out of the team early in 2008/09, and once back it took him a while to find his form. But since Mikel Arteta was ruled out for the season in February, the South African really stepped up to the plate.

    He scored a screamer at Aston Villa in April and was the centre of much of the Toffees' best creative play in the latter part of the campaign. 

    Pienaar continued in excellent form before a knee injury forced him to miss 11 games of the 2009/10 campaign. He burst back onto the scene though, scoring in three consecutive league games around the turn of the year - each one a superb strike.

    His overall contribution was acknowledged at the end of the campaign when he was voted player of the season by the Everton fans.

    In the summer of 2010 Pienaar became the face of a nation, as he played in a World Cup in his home country, and was recognised as a key figure if South Africa were to make it through to the knock-out phase of the competition.

    Pienaar started all three of Bafana Bafana's group games, before South Africa were knocked out of the competiton on goal difference, despite an excellent performance in their final group game against France.

    He joined Tottenham Hotspur in January 2011 after turning down a new contract at Everton.

    After a frustrating 12 months at White Hart Lane, the South African international made a dramatic return to Goodison on deadline day January 2012 in a loan deal to the end of the season.

    The midfielder immediately looked at home again, netting in his second game since the loan switch as the Blues beat Chelsea 2-0 at Goodison Park.

    From there, it was as if he had never been away.

    The Blues continued to pick up their league form, finishing seventh. Pienaar himself contributed three more goals in the last six games, but was ineligible to play a part in the Toffees' FA Cup campaign, having previously featured in the competition for Spurs.

    After an emotional interview with evertontv at the end of the season, the wheels were put in motion for Pienaar to return to Goodison Park properly.

    On 31 July 2012, the deal was completed as the fan favourite put pen to paper on a new four-year deal at the Club.

    Pienaar netted the Blues' opener in the 3-1 win at Aston Villa on 25 August 2012.

    In October 2012 he announced his retirement from international football, signalling the end of a 10 year international career.

    His last minute equaliser against former club Tottenham, which was immediately followed up by an injury time winner from Nikica Jelavic, was one of his six league goals for the Blues in 2012/13 – his best one season return yet.

    Pienaar's style of play fitted in well with Roberto Martinez's plans and he remained a regular. A knee injury spoiled the second half of his season although he was able to return on the last day of the season.

    Contracted until: June 2016.

  • Starts Subs Goals
    Barclays Premier League 19 4 1
    FA Cup 2 - -
    Carling Cup - - -
    Other - - -
    Total 21 4 1
    2013/14 Season Stats
    Appearances 25 Time played 1799
    Goals 1 Assists 2
    Yellow cards 2 Red cards 0
    Corners taken 10 Crosses 4
    Cross completion rate 11.11% Free kicks taken 0
    Passes (successful) 825 Passes (forward) 268
    Passes (in opposition half) 631 Key passes 28
    Shots on target 8 Shots off target 12
    Shot accuracy rating 40.00% Penalties 0
    Fouls against 49 Goals kicks 0
    Blocks 2 Clearances 8
    Interceptions 21 Goals conceded 15
    Own goals 0 Fouls committed 26
    Hand balls 0 Offsides 3
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