Dutch Sneijder Ends International Career

Wesley Sneijder in national jersey
Wesley Sneijder in national jersey

Wesley Sneijder has announced his retirement from international football.

The Netherlands star, who amassed 133 caps and played at three FIFA World Cups, made the decision after a meeting with new national team coach, Ronald Koeman, in Qatar on March 4.

Sneijder, 33, currently plies his trade with Qatari club Al Gharafa, FIFA reported on its website.

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

“I feel proud and honored to have been able to play for my country for 15 years, 9,750 minutes, 133 games, 85 wins and 31 goals,” the Dutch posted on his twitter account. “Football is my all time passion. Good luck to the next generation. Give 100% always!”

Speaking about the player, Koeman, who was appointed as the national team boss last month, said, “Wesley is one of the best Dutch footballers in the past few years. A great player with a great look. But I want to be selecting and building a new Oranje and must therefore make choices.”

Sneijder made his senior international debut in 2003 before going on to appear at World Cup 2006 in Germany, 2010 in South Africa, and Brazil 2014. The Utrecht-born midfielder won the adidas Silver Ball and the adidas Bronze Boot at South Africa 2010, while also picking up a runner-up medal.

Four years later, Sneijder claimed a bronze medal with the Netherlands at Brazil 2014.

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