Raised under apartheid in a South African township, Steven Pienaar travelled across Africa and Europe to end up at White Hart Lane.
Westbury township was a tough place to grow up, with drugs and violence a common factor in everyday life, but the dedication shown by Pienaar drive him on to play football for Cape Town Ajax, a nursery club for Ajax of Amsterdam.
At the Dutch club, he developed a reputation as a hard tackling midfielder, who liked to play attacking football with an eye for a pass to set up a team-mate and a lot of skill, which had been honed on South African soil and their bumpy pitches, before polishing them on the more manicured surfaces at the Ajax academy and the club itself. He lined up alongside Rafael van der Vaart who he was to link up with again at Spurs and many other notable Ajax players, as the team won two Dutch titles, two Dutch FA Cups and two Dutch Super Cups during his time there.
His time at the club saw them regularly in European competition and while there was not the success there as there had been for Ajax in previous years, he was drawn to the attention of Borussia Dortmund, another frequent participant in the top competitions and he signed for them in January 2006. However, the move did not prove to be as happy a one as Steven might have hoped and he only stayed until the summer, when he moved to Goodison Park on loan to play for Everton. With a good season under his belt, the Merseyside club made the move permanent in the summer of 2008, paying £2 million for the South African international midfielder.
His darting runs and skill on the ball made him a firm favourite at the club and Everton were a force under the management of David Moyes, but the lack of funding to bolster the squad lead to poor starts to seasons and having to play catch up proved difficult for the manager. With a three year deal running out in the summer of 2011, Everton had to make the decision to cash in on Pienaar or to hold onto him until the end of his contract and lose him for nothing. After rumours of Spurs and Chelsea vying for his signature approaching the January 2011 transfer window, the player spoke with both clubs but chose Tottenham, saying the attacking style of play attracted him and a fee of around £3.5 million was agreed.
Injury and lack of chances left Pienaar frustrated in his fight to gain a regular first team place, so in January 2012, he returned to Goodison Park to play until the end of the season on loan with Everton, with a good run in the side, they reached the top half of the table of the table.
Returned to Spurs for pre-season training, but did not join the squad on their pre-season tour of America, instead staying behind at Spurs Lodge to train and on 31st July, he re-joined the Toffees.
Steven has a daughter Skyla, but suffered the threat of a court case from the mother of his child (Danielle Steeneveld) in 2009 after she claimed he broke a promise to marry her and she sued for 10.8 South African Rand. The case was dismissed by the court.
Pienaar is a devout Christian.