Wednesday, 3rd October, 2012
South African midfielder Steven Pienaar has called time on his international career.
The Everton star believes that he has reached the point where the physical demands of travelling to Africa and then turning out for the Bafana Bafana are now taking a severe toll on his body.
"After having given more than ten years’ service to the national team, I am now at a stage where physically I am struggling to balance the demands of playing in England with the number of games required by South Africa", the midfielder told Everton’s official site.
"I am proud to have represented and captained my country", he continued.
"There is a lot of very good young talent coming through and perhaps it is time for them to be given an opportunity. I wish the coaching staff and the players all the very best for the future."
Pienaar clocked up 57 caps for South Africa, with his senior side debut coming in 2002.
The midfielder first moved to play his football in Europe in 2001 when he swapped Ajax Cape Town for Dutch giants, and the South Africa club’s parent side, Ajax.
Pienaar then tasted German football with Borussia Dortmund before joining Everton, initially on loan.
He left Everton for Tottenham Hotspur in the January 2011 transfer window, but landed back at Goodison Park a year later, first on loan, before penning a permanent switch this summer.