Former Sunderland midfielder Steven Pienaar has announced his retirement from football, according to the Daily Mail.

The former Everton and Tottenham Hotspurs midfielder has been playing Bidvest Wits in the South African Premier Soccer League but exclusively announced his retirement in an interview with the Daily Mail.

The 61-time-internationally-capped South African said: ‘It’s time to close the book on what has been a great part of my life and open up a new chapter.

‘I have some terrific memories, playing for Ajax, Dortmund, making my debut for Everton where I had some special times and of course representing South Africa in the World Cup.’

‘I hope to announce something new at the end of March but I’ll be doing some TV work too in South Africa and abroad.

‘I still get messages from fans in England and I’d like to thank them for their messages of support over the years.

‘They are much appreciated.’

Pienaar began his career as a youngster at Ajax’s Cape Town side before making his debut for the Dutch side’s first team in February 2002. That season he became a regular feature in the Ajax squad that won the Dutch League in 2002 and then again in 2004.

In January 2006 Pienaar signed a three-year contract with Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund. He then moved to Everton on-loan for the 2007-08 season before signing a three-year permanent deal with the Merseysiders.

Football fans will have most recently seen Pienaar playing English football for Sunderland. The 35-year-old signed a one-year contract under former manager David Moyes in August 2016 before leaving in 2017.

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