World Cup won't bring Pienaar out of retirement
Former Bafana Bafana captain Steven Pienaar
The Everton midfielder quit the South African national last October citing a tight personal and club schedule as the main reason for his retirement, but he insists that he will not return to the national team regardless of any situation or persuasion.
Bafana Bafana still stand a chance of making it to Brazil in 2014 after current group leaders in the qualifiers, Ethiopia, fielded an illegible player in a qualifier against Botswana.
They are expected to be docked three points by world football governing body FIFA, which could see South Africa just two points behind the East African nation heading into the last round of qualifiers.
“I am 32 years old right now and that is a bit old for me to come out of retirement,” said the former Ajax Amsterdam, Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder.
“I have played for the national team for around ten years so it was the right time to retire.
“I can’t go back on my decision. It has been made and I will live with it because I am happy with the decision.
“I will watch the World Cup as a spectator next year and if Bafana make it to the World Cup I wish them all the best.”
Pienaar, who has not played for Bafana Bafana since current coach Gordon Igesund was appointed in June 2012, says that his former international teammates have improved in leaps and bounds over the last 12 months.
“I watched the Africa Cup of Nations earlier this year and the two World Cup qualifiers this past month and the team has been doing quite well,” Pienaar says.
“I believe the goals we conceded against Ethiopia were the first ones we had conceded in while.”