Published On: Sun, Mar 4th, 2018

Wesley Sneijder announces retirement from international football

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Wesley Sneijder‘s illustrious career with the Netherlands is over after the 33-year-old announced his retirement from international football on Sunday.

The decision to call time on his international career followed a meeting with new Dutch manager Ronald Koeman in Qatar, according to Joe Shread of Sky Sports. Sneijder has played there with Al Gharafa since January.

Sneijder, Holland’s most-capped player, was aware that joining the Arab club could potentially have negative consequences for his international career. However, he insisted that he respects Koeman’s desire to replenish the Dutch national team with a new generation of players after the country failed to qualify for this summer’s World Cup in Russia.

“When I left, I knew, of course, the influence that this move to Qatar could have on my career as an international,” he said.

“In addition, I understand that Koeman wants to make a new beginning with other, younger players. We were very open and that was a very pleasant conversation. I respect his choice.”

Of the 133 appearances Sneijder made, few compared to the World Cup final in 2010 when he represented Holland on football’s biggest stage. The encounter ended in bitter disappointment when Spanish midfielder Andres Iniesta scored in extra time to extend Holland’s drought in the competition.

(Photo courtesy: Getty Images)

Sneijder – who previously played for Ajax, Real Madrid, Inter, Galatasaray, and Nice – experienced another heartbreak seven years later when he failed to help the Netherlands qualify for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.

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