Steven Pienaar believes that only a huge team effort will allow South Africa to do themselves justice at this summer’s World Cup finals.
The Everton midfielder initially struggled to make an impact on the international stage after making his for the Bafana Bafana in 2002. But he enters the tournament as a talismanic figure following some impressive displays both during South Africa’s Conferations Cup campaign last year and with his club side.
South Africa meet Mexico in the World Cup opener on Friday, and Pienaar has called on his team-mates to step up to the plate and deliver.
“Now we have the World Cup and it’s a big ask but I know I have my team-mates to support me,” Pienaar told The Independent.
“We have to be together and hopefully we can satisfy the people by doing that. When the team is playing good and we are winning, there won’t be any talk about just Steven Pienaar, it will be the whole team.”
Pienaar has lavished praise on Everton manager David Moyes, insisting he has had a huge impact on his career.
“I’ve often wondered when he gets chance to go to sleep because he is the hardest working manager I’ve ever come across,” he said.
“The gaffer has always been there to help me. He’s the one who took me to England and had a lot of confidence in me.
“When someone shows you that kind of respect you really want to pay them back someday.”
Pienaar is hoping to improve upon his poor international scoring record, having notched just two goals in 50 appearances for his country.
“I think it’s because I’m more of a team player but my coaches have always wanted me to score more goals,” he added.
“I’ve been trying to be more selfish and shooting instead of passing sometimes and my composure has definitely improved. But I would be happy if I didn’t score any and the team won.”