Pienaar plays down role
Steven Pienaar has insisted South Africa's World Cup hopes do not rest on his shoulders.
Last Updated: 05/03/10 12:01pm
Steven Pienaar has insisted South Africa's World Cup hopes do not rest on his shoulders, despite being the country's in-form star.
The midfielder has been superb for Everton this season and was South Africa's best player at the 2009 Confederations Cup.
Praise has rushed in from all quarters for the attacker, with Cristiano Ronaldo admitting he enjoys watching the 27-year-old in action.
When asked if such adoration puts extra pressure on him ahead of the World Cup, Pienaar told Football365.co.za: "No, not really. The important thing for me is to keep on playing the way I'm playing and make sure I enjoy my game and take my form to the national team.
"I don't feel the pressure in any way and I'm just enjoying my game at the moment."
Pienaar, along with other key European-based stars Benni McCarthy and MacBeth Sibaya were not part of coach Carlos Alberto Parreira's 29-man squad for the training camp in Brazil. Their clubs refused to release them as the month-long trip falls outside FIFA-sanctioned dates.
Many pundits feel that without the likes of the former Ajax Cape Town star, Bafana simply look ordinary.
However, Pienaar insists that everyone who earns a place in the World Cup squad has a key role to play.
"No, it is not a one-man sport," he said after being asked whether he is Bafana's greatest asset.
"It will all be down to the 23 players that will be selected for the World Cup. It is not only up to me. I will be there to give 110% in every match like in every training session and every game. We need each other as a team not individuals for us to do well during the tournament."