Date:Thursday October 25 2012
The South African Football Association are hoping for Everton's Steven Pienaar to change his mind about international retirement.
Pienaar made the announcement earlier this month, explaining that the travelling between playing for his country and playing for Everton was becoming too much for him at the ripe old age of 30.
For South Africa, it couldn't be worse timing with the nation about to host the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.
With the tournament set to be played between January 19th and February 10th, Everton will be pleased to not be without the play-maker for a month. But for his country it is a major blow.
"We wish somehow he would change his mind. I want to sit down with Steven and find out his reasons. We`d love to have him - he`s clearly our best player." South Africa Football Association chief executive officer Robin Petersen told The Echo.
He continued: "It is a big setback for us. It is very sad, Steven has been a loyal servant to South African football and he has given his best - I have never been one of those who felt he hasn`t tried, I`ve always seen him as working hard, carrying a big burden psychologically and emotionally.
"We haven`t been doing that well and I think it has worn him down - the emotional and psychological pressure, rather than physical pressure, has been the thing that has worn him down.
"Maybe he will change his mind in the future, we will see."
After 60 caps for his country and two World Cup appearances, personally I think Pienaar has had his international time.
At the age of 30-years-old, now is a good time to make the decision to try and prolong his career.
We've seen a number of players do it for England and that's without the travelling factor, which does take its toll on a players recovery.
We watched on as Tim Cahill fought tooth and nail to continue the balancing act and it was great to see someone with so much pride in his international career, but with hindsight, would his Everton career have lasted longer if he had quit Australia?
Would he now be in semi-retirement in the MLS if he had taken the same decision? Obviously it's a hypothetical question which we will never know the answer to, but I'd hazard a guess and suggest that we would have seen more of Cahill if he had made the same decision as Pienaar.
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Date:Thursday October 25 2012
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