The country of Windmills has donated a lot of greenfield celebrities. It was recorded that there are agile names like Arjen Robben, elegant predators such as Robin van Persie, to the charismatic midfielder named Wesley Sneijder.
Wesley Benjamin Sneijder was born on 9 June 1984 in Utrecht. Coming from the hometown of Total Football, the school founded by Rinus Michels and Johan Cruyff on the basis of talent, creativity, and discipline that continued into the 1980s with Marco van Basten, makes Wesley Sneijder unsurprisingly became one of the artists in this game.
Wesley Sneijder is a name that will always be related to spectacular goals, reading first-class games, and one of the creative midfielders owned by the Netherlands.
Some time ago, the greenfield artist has decided to retire, to then continue his career as a director at FC Utrecht.
The man born in Utrecht 35 years ago began his football career at the Ajax Amsterdam academy in the 1991-2002 period. Sneijder played his debut match in February 2003 when Ajax coached by Ronald Koeman win 6-0 over Willem II. One month after that, he scored the inaugural goal for Amsterdam when they beat Groningen 4-1 in the KNVB Cup.
Sneijder has stolen the attention in his second year strengthening the Ajax senior team in the 2003/04 season. Sneijder at that time, along with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Rafael Van der Vaart, and John Heitinga, succeeded in getting Ajax to win the Dutch League title. His game in midfield with Rafael van der Vaart became the key to the luck of Zlatan Ibrahimovic at the time.
During his trip to Ajax, Sneijder donated one Eredivisie title (2003/04), two KNVB Cup (2005/06, 2006/07), and one Johan Cruyff Shield (2006). In total, Snijder has recorded 43 goals and 36 assists from 126 appearances for the club.
The 2007/08 season, Sneijder joined Real Madrid. At that time, he was brought in by Bernd Schuster who had just replaced Fabio Capello in the team coaching chair. Had to compete with Manchester United and Inter Milan, Ajax’s price of 27 million euros was easily settled by Madrid. Sneijder came to the Bernabeu and wore jersey number 23.
With his glory as a creative midfielder, he held the La Liga title in his first season with Los Blancos.
Even so, Sneijder faced his difficulties in his second season. The ligament injury he suffered when playing against Arsenal in August 2008 in the Emirates Cup, made Sneijder’s career at the Santiago Bernabeu sank. He only started 18 times, scoring 2 goals and 2 assists throughout the 2008/09 season. His performance was considered getting weakened. Thus, he was released to Inter Milan at the end of the season. At that time, Sneijder’s appearance was also somewhat drowned by the presence of his former colleague from Ajax, Rafael van der Vaart.
Although getting released from Real Madrid, his moving to Inter has become a blessing. Working closely with Jose Mourinho, Sneijder became a much-needed figure. Sneijder was completing the Inter squad which already had popular names such as Lucio, Samuel Eto, and Diego Milito.
Sneijder’s role in the Nerazzuri I camp could be seen when Inter Milan managed to crush the resistance of FC Barcelona in the European Champions League. Pedro Rodriguez has just opened an advantage for Barcelona. But Jose Mourinho’s Inter was filled with tough players, including Sneijder.
His goal that night became more than a counterweight. These goals became clear evidence that Barcelona was a team that could be beaten. The first excitement which later will be a historic night for the Nerazzurri, and perhaps, a statement of their most important attitudes on the journey to the treble.
In the final party itself, Wesley Sneijder also became the key through the donations he contributed. He appeared perfectly at the Bernabeu, the stadium which once, threw away his talent.
2010 perhaps became the most phenomenal year for Sneijder. That season, Inter managed to steal the Champions League trophy and successfully defended the Serie A trophy. Moreover, they also successfully grabbed the Copa Italia trophy.
Inter won the treble for the first time and ended the Champions League title in 45 years.
The more spectacular thing is that in the same year, Sneijder replicated his perfect performance with the Dutch National Team. You could say, in this era, Dutch squads were at their best. At the 2010 World Cup, Sneijder became an important player for Der Oranje. Holland qualified for the Final and met with Spain.
Xavi-Iniesta had once successfully defeated Sneijder’s game. Yet, Sneijder’s performance still made him joined the 2010 FIFA World Cup Dream Team.
Seeing Sneijder’s appearance that season, no one would deny if he did look good. Three titles with Inter and bringing the Netherlands to become a 2010 World Cup finalist proved his excellent performance.
With what Sneijder has already shown, he deserves to be included in the 2010 best player candidate list. Sure enough, in the 2010 Ballon-winning list of candidates, his name was among the world’s best players. But surprisingly, in the last screening session, there was no Sneijder’s name in the list of the top three candidates.
From the FIFA release, the three nominations for Ballon d’Or winners came from Barcelona, Lionel Messi, Andres Iniesta, and Xavi Hernandez. Which then becomes a question, is it true that Sneijder’s appearance and contribution in 2010 were no better than those three players?
After playing with Inter Milan, Sneijder’s career was a little bit weakened. Despite his achievements with Galatasaray, he was considered to have lost his best game. After that, Sneijder joined Nice to later continue his career at Al Ghafara and decided to retire as a professional footballer.
During his 17-year career as a footballer, Sneijder has recorded 574 appearances, 155 goals and 20 major trophies at club level. He also became the player with the most caps, reaching a total of 134, which he got along with the Dutch national team