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Pienaar: Why African Star Doesn't Get Recognition He Deserves

Former Ajax Amsterdam and Bafana Bafana midfielder Steven Pienaar believes Hakim Ziyech does not get the recognition he deserves, despite contributing to 40 goals for his club this season, because he is African.

Read: African: What Zlatan Shouted At Me Before We Clashed

In an exclusive interview with Soccer Laduma (issue 1120), "Schillo" spoke about his former club's resurrection after they reached the UEFA Champions League semi-final stage for the first time since 1997.

One of the key players in Ajax's squad is Moroccan playmaker Ziyech, who has scored an incredible 20 goals and assisted another 20 strikes in 44 games across all competitions for his team this season.

However, despite his brilliant campaign, other stars in the Ajax squad feature in more headlines than the African seemingly does.

Watch: Has CAF CL Experience Helped Bafana? Pitso Answers!

"For me, personally, I have always been a fan of Hakim, even when he was still at FC Twente," Pienaar told Soccer Laduma.

"He has been one of the best players in the league for the last four to five years. When he was at FC Twente, he carried the team and was Player of the Season before he moved to Ajax.

"I think the issue with him is he wanted to represent the country his parents are from, and that is Morocco.

"When you are African and you are not playing for the likes of Real Madrid or Manchester United, you are not getting the recognition you are supposed to.

"If he had decided to play for the Dutch team, I think a lot more people would take note of him. But then again, he is one of the best players in the team."

Read: The Best-Paid Africans In England

Ajax face Tottenham Hotspur at the Londoners' new stadium in the first leg of their UCL semi-final on Tuesday night, and will host the Premier League side for the return fixture next week Wednesday.

You can read the full interview, during which Pienaar gives a lot more insight into Ajax's resurrection and how the young Dutch team upset Real Madrid and Juventus in the UCL this season, in this week's edition of Soccer Laduma, issue 1120.

 

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