The 35-year-old from Westbury, Johannesburg, made an announcement through a video posted on Twitter.

“Today I’m announcing my retirement from football. I just want to say thanks to my mum, my family and all the clubs that I’ve played for… and the supporters of course, how could I forget you guys?” he said.

“Thanks for the love throughout my career. Follow me on social media, there’s an announcement coming soon, and you guys will be the first to know.

“Thanks for the love.”

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Pienaar spent most of his career in Europe, playing in three different countries. “Schillo” left for Ajax Amsterdam from Ajax Cape Town back in 2000.

During his tenure in Amsterdam, the star won the Eredivisie twice (2002 and 2004), playing alongside Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Rafael van der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder.

In 2006, the midfielder joined the German side Borussia Dortmund. He was then loaned out to the Premier League side Everton, where his performance attracted many suitors.

Pienaar also played for North London heavyweights Tottenham Hotspur and ended his European football career at Sunderland, before joining the South African Premier Soccer League side Bidvest Wits.

He told Soccer Laduma that he wants to focus on the next step in his career, but also want to be closer to his family.

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“I’ve missed so many years to be with them all, so now I’ve finally got a chance. I just want to enjoy every moment that I can spend with my mum and my kids as well,” he was quoted as saying.

Schillo retired with 61 Bafana Bafana caps and featured in two World Cups.


Additional reporting by Soccer Laduma