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By Chineze Ogugua 

Former Everton and South African midfielder Steven Pienaar has announced his retirement from active football.

Steven Pienaar

The 34-year old former Bidvest player confirmed the news to ESPN in an interview on Wednesday.

“It was a very difficult decision but now it has been made it is a weight lifted off my shoulders. I am looking forward to what comes next. It is something that had been on my mind for some time, but I needed to make peace with it first before I could take the decision. I have now done that and it is a good feeling.”

Pienaar who is now a free agent after a disappointing six months with Bidvest Wits, will still be part of the club while he will assist in developing the youth teams.

Pienaar made his debut with Ajax Cape Town at the age of 17 before joining the Dutch parent club in Amsterdam, where he won two Dutch league titles and two FA Cups.

The South African has also played for Everton and Sunderland.

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