The transfer of Wesley Sneijder to Galatasaray marked a remarkable decline for a player once courted by the best teams in Europe. What happened to the Dutch maestro?
Go back to 2010. The stage was set - Netherlands v Spain in the final of the FIFA World Cup. Wesley Sneijder was in the form of his life (he was man of the match in four of the six matches they had played up to that point) and was ready to add yet another trophy to a stellar year which already consisted of the Serie A title, the Coppa Italia and the Champion’s League.
Despite losing out to an Andres Iniesta winner in extra time Sneijder’s campaign was an unbelievable feat, leading Internazionale to become the first Italian club to win the treble. Some might even argue that it was Sneijder who deserved to win the Ballon d’Or for his extraordinary performances but Lionel Messi disagreed.
What happened after that is a mystery only Sneijder himself can explain.
The new season started off well as the Nerazzurri claimed their second Coppa Italia in as many years despite the departure of Jose Mourinho to Real Madrid.
Unfortunately for Sneijder injury struck which would force him to be on the sidelines for long periods and restricted his number of games. As this problem ensued Inter were forced to play their hand and ask Sneijder to accept a new contract that would see his wages drop significantly.
Sneijder refused and so continued the irreversible downward spiral. Sneijder was ostracized from the squad despite being fit and Inter decided to cut their losses and offload him. This rift eventually saw the Nerazzurri sell Sneijder to Galatasaray for £8.4 million - nearly half of what they had bought him for.
For Sneijder it was a chance to prove that he still had what it took to battle it out with Europe’s elite despite admitting that he was no longer in the world’s top five players according to De Telegraaf. As one of the marquee signings for Gala he has not justified the hefty price tag as of yet with his latest flop coming against his former club Real Madrid when he was substituted at half time.
At 28, Sneijder should be at the peak of his career playing for some European giant and making headlines but sadly that is not the case. This is by no means the end his top-flight career.
All players have their ups and downs. It’s up to Sneijder to get back in form and become a force to be reckoned with once again.
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