The 30-year-old South African retired from international football in October 2012, just months before his country was due to host the Africa Cup of Nations.

But he says he's happy putting all his energy into helping Everton succeed.

"This time I stood up for my body, for my health, because I've been through a lot of stuff, a lot of injuries, played a lot of games and done a lot of travelling," he said.

"When you reach the age of 30 you have to consider what is good for you and I made the decision and I'm happy with it."

Pienaar singled out Everton manager David Moyes for praise, saying he has been integral to the Merseyside team's achievements.

"He [David Moyes] made us play with a lot of freedom and he wants us to attack all the time. It shows this season in our game, I think we are one of the teams with the most attempts on goal," he said.

"He's a really good manager, he knows his work and he is one of the most hard working guys I have ever come across in my career.

"We're only halfway into the season and people are already talking that we might end up in the top four. If it's the last game and we're in the top four, we'll all be celebrating, but as I say we have to take it step by step.

"Every game, just don't put a lot of pressure on ourselves, just enjoy it and if we do get the results that we need, hopefully we will go on and achieve something really great at this club."

Pienaar also reflected on his failed move to Tottenham, which he has no regrets about despite only managing 10 appearances due to injuries and poor form.

"My first three years were I think the best in my career at Everton and I just needed a change [move to Tottenham] ," he said.

"Sometimes if you stay in one place for too long you tend to not push yourself and you start relaxing and you don't perform. That was my idea - I just wanted a new challenge and to move on

"I don't regret it because if you don't take the risk you don't push yourself. For me I didn't regret anything. Unfortunately I got injured so early in my Tottenham career and that put a stop to my progress.

"And when I got fit it was almost as the transfer window opened. It was just a month and I didn't get enough time to get into the team again.

"When Everton came back and asked me if I wanted to play I decided to go because for four months I didn't play, I was injured. To come back you need to play. When Everton gave me the opportunity to play again I took it with both hands and I said yes."