Steven Pienaar chose to reveal a dark secret in black and white on his own website yesterday. He admitted on www.stevenpienaar.com just before travelling to South Africa for the eagerly-awaited Vodacom Challenge: “I supported Orlando Pirates as a kid.”
Pienaar will join his Tottenham Hotspur team-mates against South African champions Pirates and their arch-rivals from Soweto, Kaiser Chiefs in a triangular showdown culminating in the final on July 23.
Current Bafana Bafana captain Pienaar, who was raised in Westburg near Johannesburg, admits he went on to support Ajax Cape Town, his first professional club.
But the 58-times capped South African, who moved to Spurs from Everton last January, explains: "Orlando Pirates are one of the oldest teams in South Africa and from where I’m from, 90 per cent of the people support them
"I’m one of those fans - I supported Pirates as a kid before I moved to Ajax Cape Town, then I supported Ajax Cape Town."
Pienaar joined Ajax Cape Town in 1999 before moving to Dutch parent club Ajax Amsterdam in 2002, his springboard to Everton and the English Premier League.
Pienaar recalls his links with various Buccaneers on his website, adding: “Yes, I played with Sibusiso Zuma in the national team, he played for Pirates and Mark Fish, everyone knows him, a famous player from South Africa who played in the Premier League for Charlton and Bolton.
"I also played with OJ Mabizela, who joined Spurs. A lot of players have come through Pirates and made it to the national team. They are a top team in South Africa."
Pienaar – who may be joined by Bafana Bafana colleague Bongani Khumalo on the tour, unless his impending loan spell at Rangers forces him north – will kick-off the Vodacom challenge against the Amakhosi in Polokwane on Saturday before making the trip to Nelspruit to face treble-winners “Bucsalona” next Tuesday.
Spurs will play the victors of the Chiefs v Pirates derby in Port Elizabeth on July 21 in the final at Ellis Park in Johannesburg, on Saturday, July 23.