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World Cup news

Ronaldo tips Pienaar to star in South Africa

February 17, 2010
By Soccernet staff

Cristiano Ronaldo expects South Africa midfielder Steven Pienaar to flourish when the World Cup finals take place in his home country in June.

Steven Pienaar
GettyImagesSteven Pienaar has been in superb form for Everton

Pienaar, 27, is a key player for Carlos Alberto Parreira's side and will carry the hopes of a nation on his shoulders as South Africa aim to avoid becoming the first hosts to fail to reach the second round of the World Cup.

His form for Everton this season is certainly cause for optimism as Pienaar has been an influential figure for David Moyes' side, scoring five goals in 30 appearances for the Toffees, including back-to-back goals against Arsenal and Manchester City in January and another against Sporting Lisbon on Tuesday night.

France, Mexico and Uruguay await South Africa in Group A but 2008 FIFA World Player of the Year Ronaldo has tipped Pienaar to impress.

"I played against Steven Pienaar many times against Everton," Ronaldo told Kick Off. "He is a fantastic player, a skilful player.

"I enjoy watching him and I think he is the best player in the South African team. He will play in his home country, in his home city, and I hope he will do well in the World Cup."