schillo ready for the big one

Everton's dribbling wizard Steven "Schillo" Pienaar is grateful for the support of South Africans ahead of the FA Cup final against Chelsea.

Everton's dribbling wizard Steven "Schillo" Pienaar is grateful for the support of South Africans ahead of the FA Cup final against Chelsea.

"I have been inundated with messages of support from people back home. I appreciate it," said Pienaar, who is also one of Bafana Bafana's star players.

"The final will be the biggest game in my soccer career and I'm looking forward to it. It will be tough because Chelsea have some of the best players in the world.

"We are ready and will go out there and fight for a win. It would be great to end the season by winning the FA Cup final."

Pienaar yesterday said he was expecting many friends from Holland where he made a name for himself playing for Ajax Amsterdam.

"My younger brother Kelvin is here with me. There are people coming from Holland to watch the game. It will be the most memorable day of my life," he added.

Pienaar will fly to South Africa after the final to join Bafana in their final preparations for the Confederations Cup.

Bafana wrap up their preparations for the tournament against Poland in an international friendly at the revamped Orlando Stadium on June 6.

Mike "Nanana" Ntombela, soccer player-turned coach and analyst, said: "Steve has made all of us in Africa proud.

"We wish him all the best on Saturday.

"What I also love about him is that he is involved in various community development projects in his township Westbury."

Pienaar hopes to win his fourth major title after clinching the Dutch Cup twice with Ajax Amsterdam in Holland and the Rothmans Cup with South Africa's Ajax Cape Town.

On Saturday, Pienaar will also be the first South African player to wear the unique F50i Adidas soccer boot manufactured by the German sports apparel company.

The F50i is the first football boot with a single-layer upper, the new SprintSkin, which envelops the player's foot like a second skin.

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