News
World Cup

Pienaar: Ex-Everton star reveals Bafana Bafana coaching ambition

11:12 WAT 13/05/2022
Steven Pienaar, Bafana Bafana, June 2009
The 40-year-old has explained his desire to take charge of the national team

Former Everton midfielder Steven Pienaar has come out to explain his burning desire to handle the South African national team Bafana Bafana.

The 40-year-old Pienaar, who primarily played as a winger and also as an attacking midfielder, made 61 appearances and scored one goal for the national side before he decided to hang up his boots in October 2012.

He has now revealed his future ambitions to get back into the Bafana set-up.

What did Pienaar say?

“Yeah let’s hope [so]. Obviously, it’s a dream for every player or manager to coach your national team and that dream is still with me,” Pienaar told the Made in Africa podcast, as quoted bySoccer Laduma. "I know I am only at the beginning of my coaching career, but that’s one of the plans I want for myself.

“You have to think big and for me, the ultimate goal is to one day coach my national team and for me, that would be everything I wish for. To play for the national team, to captain the national team, and to one day be the coach. That will be something special.

“If God is with me and he’ll open that door for me and one day hopefully, I’ll reach that goal.”

In September 2019, Pienaar completed his Uefa A Licence and in December 2019, he returned to AFC Ajax as a Trainee Coach.

The former Bafana star, who also played for Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, also expressed his dissappointment at South Africa missing out on the 2022 Africa Cup of Nations and the eagerly awaited World Cup in Qatar.

‘Disappointing to miss Afcon and World Cup’

“It is disappointing if your country is not playing in the African Cup of Nations or qualifying for the World Cup,” Pienaar continued. “In the last couple of years, there has been a few problems with managers coming in, the development of young players not going as planned.”

Pienaar added: “If you look back at the last year, a new manager came in; he wants to build a young team. He showed it in the qualification games for the World Cup with young players, ones who want to work and have the desire to represent the country.

“Unfortunately, he didn’t qualify for the World Cup through circumstances but I think he is building a young team that will be there for the next few years and there are some good talents coming through”

Pienaar has also questioned the decline in the numbers of South African players, who are plying their trades in top European leagues.

“If you look at how many South African players are playing abroad, it’s not so many. There’s a few I can count on my hand. The desire to play in Europe is not there,” added Pienaar. “The ones that are playing in Europe, they sometimes don’t get an opportunity to play in the national team.”

Pienaar participated in the 2002 and 2010 World Cups, the latter on home soil.