Pienaar is the only South African among the candidates for the prestigious honour that were revealed on Monday and has yet to be won by a South African since its official inception in 1993.
And included among the nominations for the top individual prize in African soccer are all the winners since 2003 –– namely Inter Milan’s Samuel Eto’o (2003, 2004 and 2005), Chelsea’s Didier Drogba (2006 and 2009), Seville’s Freddie Kanoute (2007) and Manchester City’s Emmanuel Adabayor (2008).
Among the nominees for this year’s honour is striker Asamoah Gyan, who starred in Ghana’s impressive 2010 World Cup quarter-final qualification in South Africa and has recently joined English Premier League club Sunderland.
In all, Ghana have four nominations, with the Ivory Coast boasting a similar number.
Although Pienaar was not at his best during the World Cup, he has regained much of his sparkle in Bafana’s matches since the hosting of the 2010 tournament –– although he has not managed to halt Everton’s slump in the English Premier League in which the Merseyside club have failed to win a game and occupy bottom place on the log.
Caf will later nominate three finalists. –– Supersport.