As one of the best playmakers to ever played football, Wesley Sneijder is considered to be one of the best footballers of his generation. In this article, we will take a look at his biography.
Wesley Sneijder, born on 9 June 1984 in Utrecht, Netherlands, is a former Dutch professional footballer who usually played as an attacking midfielder. He played for Ajax, Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Galatasaray, OGC Nice and Al-Gharafa between 2002 and 2019. Sneijder was a member of the Dutch national team from 2003 to 2018, for which he played 134 international games and scored 31 goals.
On 9 June 2017, he became the national record holder, when he broke Edwin van der Sar's record with his 131st international appearance. Sneijder ended his career as a professional footballer in the summer of 2019.
Sneijder attended Ajax's youth academy and made his debut in professional football in 2003. In five seasons at Ajax, he won a national title and two KNVB Cups. In 2007, he was sold for 27 million euros to Real Madrid, where he won the Spanish national title in his first season. After two seasons, he left for the Italian side Inter.
There he had the most successful period of his career, especially winning the treble (Champions League
) in the 2009/10 season. In 2013 Sneijder made the switch to Galatasaray, with whom he won the Turkish Super Lig in both his first and third season and the Turkish Cup in his second season.
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Sneijder made his debut in the Dutch national team in April 2003. He represented the Netherlands at three European Championships (2004, 2008 and 2012) and three World Cups (2006, 2010 and 2014). Personally, he was awarded the Silver Ball and the Bronze Shoe at the 2010 World Cup. Sneijder played his last international match on 6 September 2018.
His achievements include being named Dutch Footballer of the Year in 2004 and being included in the 2008 European Championship Team of the Tournament; he has also named the best midfielder in the Champions League in 2010 and the same year he was included in La Gazzetta dello Sport's Golden Team, the 2010 World Cup All-Star Team, the FIFPro World XI and the UEFA Team of the Year.
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Wesley Sneijder nationality
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Wesley Sneijder Bio
Full Name: Wesley Sneijder
Nickname: The Sniper
Profession: Professional Footballer
Wesley Sneijder Physical Stats
Weight: 72 Kg
Height: 1.70 m
Eye Color: Green
Hair Color: Light Brown
Wesley Sneijder Football Information
Jersey Number: 10
Professional Debut: 2002
Wesley Sneijder Date of Birth and Personal Info
Date of Birth: 9 June 1984
Birth Place: Utrecht, Netherlands
Zodiac Sign: Gemini
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Wesley Sneijder biography
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Wesley Sneijder childhood
Wesley Benjamin Sneijder was born in theNetherlands
in 1984. He comes from a family of footballers: his dad was a player, his older brother Jeffrey played for smaller clubs in the Netherlands, and his younger brother Rodney Sneijder is a professional football player too. His family were known as the Grandfootballers because of their tradition of producing football players.
Sneijder started his career at his hometownUtrecht
, a team that won a Dutch league in 1958. At the age of seven, he was invited to take some tests atAjax
, together with his brother, Jeffrey. He played for over ten years in the club's youth ranks, unlike Jeffrey, who did not enjoy the same success and ended up being transferred to a smaller club in the country.
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One day, then-coach of Ajax, Ronald Koeman, frustrated by a packed list of injured players, made a call to the then Ajax youth coach and former player Danny Blind to find a player, and he recommended the then-18-year-old Sneijder.
Without many alternatives in the squad, Ronald Koeman picked Sneijder, who made his first-team debut on 2 February 2003 against Willem II, where his team won 6-0. Sneijder quickly established himself in the first team of Ajax, and already in his first season, 2002-03, he played the first Champions League match in 2002-03 againstArsenal
, which ended with a 0-0 draw. At the end of the game, Sneijder came in for Steven Pienaar.
That season, Ajax were eliminated from the Champions League in the quarter-finals againstAC Milan
in the last minute of the game, in a surprising performance of the team formed mostly by young players who, besides Sneijder, had other young talents such as Rafael van der Vaart, Cristian Chivu, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Andy van der Meyde, among others. His first goal for Ajax came on 13 April 2003, in a match against theNAC Breda
In the 2003-04 season, Sneijder won theEredivisie
. During that season, Sneijder played a very important role in the team scoring nine goals in 30 games. In the following years, Sneijder remained a leading player in the European football scene, attracting the interest of the major clubs.
During the 2006-07 season, the young midfielder had his best season with Ajax, scoring 18 goals, a spectacular mark considering his position. In the same season, he won his second KNVB Cup, againstAZ Alkmaar
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In August 2007, after signing a contract extension with Ajax Amsterdam, it was announced that he would be transferred to Real Madrid, which paid around 27 million euros for the services of the Dutch international, who signed a five-year contract, making him the second most expensive transfer in the Eredivisie; he was the first of three Dutch players Real Madrid signed for the 2007/08 season, the next being Royston Drenthe from Feyenoord Rotterdam, with whom he was officially presented on 13 August at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.
The club gave him the number 23, the number that for four full seasons had been worn by fellow English midfielder David Beckham who had recently left for Major League Soccer's Los Angeles Galaxy.
He played his first official match for Real Madrid on 19 August in the second leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Sevilla F.C. at the Santiago Bernabeu, where Sevilla won 3-5, winning the tournament. His debut in the SpanishLa Liga
came on 27 August in the first match of the season, against Atlético de Madrid. They beat Atlético 2-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu, the winning goal being scored by the Dutchman himself in the 79th minute. During the first matches of the season, he was a starter and was one of the key players in Madrid's victories, most notably the match he played against Villarreal CF, in the second matchday, in which Real Madrid won 0-5; in that match, he contributed two goals.
In his first year he equalled his second-best record with Ajax (nine goals in thirty games), helping Madrid to their thirty-first league title, the Madrid team's second in a row ahead of Villarreal CF by eight points. In the Champions League, he made five appearances, but they were knocked out in the round of 16 by AS Roma. In the Copa del Rey the club played two matches but was eliminated in the round of 16 by RCD Mallorca.
On 3 August 2008 he suffered a serious injury to his left knee after receiving a hard tackle from French midfielder Abou Diaby during Real's 1-0 loss to English team Arsenal F.C. It was initially thought that the Dutch international had injured his cruciate ligament and would miss around half the season, but tests later ruled out that possibility, he only injured his inner lateral ligament and would only be sidelined for around three months.
Among the matches he missed were the 2008 Spanish Super Cup, in which his team won the title againstValencia CF
. In the 2008/09 season, he played 22 matches, starting 18 of them, although he could only score twice and his team was second, 9 points behind FC Barcelona. In the Copa del Rey he played one match and they were eliminated in the round of 32.
Despite the arrival of international stars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Kaka at Real Madrid in 2009, Sneijder's future at the club was not in danger, especially after the club's coach Manuel Pellegrini confirmed that he was counting on the Dutchman. However, after the large transfer spending, rumours began in late August about a possible transfer of Sneijder, as happened with his fellow countrymen Rafael van der Vaart and Arjen Robben. He repeatedly reiterated his intention to stay at Real Madrid, but the club's board decided to sell him.
On 27 August 2009, he confirmed on his website that he had agreed to be transferred toInter Milan
for 16 million euros, signing a four-year contract and receiving a net salary of four million euros per year. On the same day, the new Inter player said, "what has happened to me is a very strange thing. The coach says he counts on me but there are people at the club who don't. It's a very strange thing with this team.". The Dutch player said he was treated very badly during the last few days, but "I leave with my head held very high. I'm very happy to be playing for Inter."
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On August 26, 2009, he was hired by Inter Milan for approximately 16 million euros, receiving the number 10 jersey of the team, the same one that he wore at Real Madrid at his last season at the Spanish club. He signed a five-year contract and quickly became the "brain" of the Nerazzurri midfield.
Already in his first season at the club, 2009-10, he became the team's most important player in winning Serie A and the Champions League, a title not won by Inter since 1965, in addition to the Italian Cup. Inter had simply won all the competitions they competed in that season and, as the team's great playmaker, Sneijder was the Inter's leading assist provider. Due to his fantastic performance during that season, Sneijder was one of the strong candidates to win the FIFA Ballon d'Or 2010, awarded to the world's best player of the year, but finished only fourth behind Andres Iniesta, Xavi and Lionel Messi, who had also enjoyed flawless seasons. On 26 August 2010, Sneijder was elected the best midfielder in European football for the season, and he received the award at the 2010-11 Champions League group draw.
He started the 2010-11 season very well, his second for Inter, with the title of the Italian Supercup on August 21, 2010, beating Roma 3-1. However, he ended up losing in the UEFA Supercup against Atletico Madrid at Stade Louis II. On 28 October 2010, just over a year after being hired, Sneijder signed a five-year contract extension until 2015.
In the 2011-12 season, the team started with Gian Piero Gasperini as a coach, but he was replaced by Claudio Ranieri on 22 September, who in turn was replaced on 26 March 2012 by Andrea Stramaccioni. By the third matchday, they were as low as 18th and eventually finished Serie A in 6th place. They lost the Italian Super Cup to Milan, were eliminated from the Cup in the quarter-finals and from the Champions League in the last 32 to Olympique Marseille.
Sneijder had been injured for two months at the end of 2011 and missed several more games with thigh problems. The start of the following season was not good, he played only five league games and three UEFA Europa League matches. He suffered two more months with a thigh injury and rumours of a possible transfer began.
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In January 2013, he signed a three and a half year contract withGalatasaray
. The transfer fee was €7.5 million and the player's salary was €5.5 million per year. He took the number 14 jersey. In the summer of 2013, he changed his number to 10.
"Many clubs were interested in me when I left Inter. Liverpool was one of those clubs, so people were very surprised when I chose Galatasaray. Why? I am a winner. I play for trophies, so I moved to Turkey. I felt that with Galatasaray and I had a better chance of becoming champion"
In the 2013/14 season, he scored 12 goals in 28 Turkish league games. The following season he scored 10 times in 31 league games.
In October 2015, Sneijder extended his contract with Galatasaray until the 2017/2018 season with a salary of €4.5m a year plus bonuses. He said: "I love Istanbul and this team. My wife Yolanthe is also very happy that I renewed my contract because I will have a child here. I'm building a family, I want to continue living in Istanbul."
The 2015/16 and 2016/17 seasons were less prolific for Sneijder, scoring only 5 league goals in each season. After the 2016/17 season, he terminated his contract with Galatasaray by mutual agreement.
Released from the Turkish club due to problems with the management, on 8 August 2017 he was signed byNice
, where he reunited with Mario Balotelli, his teammate at Inter in the 2009-10 season.
On 7 January 2018, after just 8 appearances collected between the league, Champions League preliminaries and the Europa League, he signed an 18-month contract with Qatari side Al-Gharafa.
On 12 August 2019, at the age of 35, he initially announced his retirement from professional football; however, after a brief stint as manager of Utrecht, he decided to get back into the game in July 2020, training with amateurs DHSC Utrecht, a Dutch fifth league club in which his brother Rodney was also playing.
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Wesley Sneijder biography
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Sneijder made his debut in the Dutch national team on 30 April 2003, in a friendly match in Eindhoven against Portugal (1-1), just like Arjen Robben. He came on for Phillip Cocu after 45 minutes. Sneijder scored five goals during the 2010World Cup
. He ended that tournament as one of the four top scorers of the tournament. In the preparation for the Euro 2012, he scored the 10-0 goal against San Marino. The game ended in an 11-0 victory.
On 14 August 2012, Sneijder was appointed captain of the Dutch national team under Louis van Gaal. On 7 June 2013, before the international match against Indonesia, it was announced that Sneijder had to give up the captaincy to striker Robin van Persie. Coach Van Gaal believed that Sneijder, who had a disappointing season, first had to get fit again and then he will be called up again.
On Monday, September 2, Sneijder was called up by Van Gaal, after Georginio Wijnaldum had dropped out because of an injury. Two days later, the coach announced that the midfielder would be given a place in the starting line-up in a World Cup qualifier against Estonia. He was referred to Adam Maher, who replaced the injured Rafael van der Vaart.
Sneijder played the whole match against Spain in the opening fixture of the 2014 World Cup. It was his 100th international match. There he provided two assists: on the 1-3 (free kick, Stefan de Vrij) and the 1-5 (Arjen Robben).
He played his 112th international match for the Netherlands on 28 March 2015, against Turkey (1-1), matching Frank de Boer as the player with the most international matches. Only goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar (130) played more often for the Dutch national team at that time. Three days later, he played his 113th international match against Spain. On 6 September 2018, he played his last international match against Peru in a friendly, making him the Dutch footballer with the highest number of international matches to his name, with 134.
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Wesley Sneijder played as a playmaker midfielder. He has good technique and vision and can guide the game with short or long passes, like a classic number 10. These are not his only qualities. He is also a very good dribbler, very quick on the ball and very skillful in front of goal. He is a very team player and also has a good shot, which allows him to score many goals from free kicks. Moreover, his exceptional left foot skill allows him to play very fast, just like Zidane. His small size (1.70m) does not prevent him from scoring goals with his head, as he did against Brazil in the quarter-finals of the 2010 World Cup.
He is regarded to be one of the best midfielders of the world football during peak days of his career, which was at Inter according to many pundits. Wesley Sneijder is definitely one of the best footballers in Dutch football history.
One of the goal celebrations that we often saw from Wesley Sneijder, especially when he scored goals for Netherlands national team, was the sliding goal celebration, where he often ran to the sides while getting on the ground sliding to the corners.
Sneijder is among the footballers that don’t share much information about his life outside football and therefore there are not much stuff about Wesley Sneijder outside football in media. Now stay tuned and read on Wesley Sneijder biography as we are going to share some more information about his personal life.
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In this section of Wesley Sneijder biography, we will take a deeper look into his personal life and share more information with you such as
Wesley Sneijder religion
Wesley Sneijder life story
On 18 June 2005, he married Ramona Streekstra and on 4 September 2006, their first child, Jessey, was born. He has his son's name tattooed on his left forearm. His wife confirmed in December 2008 that their relationship had ended and that they would proceed to divorce. She resides with their son in the Netherlands. In 2009 he appeared with actress and presenter Yolanthe Cabau van Kasbergen.
Before the 2010 World Cup, he got baptised, influenced by his girlfriend, to get married in the church, and, according to him, after an experience with his Inter teammates. For this, he had to follow a catechism course for adults. He finally got married after the World Cup and the party afterwards lasted three days in northern Italy. In March 2019, the couple announced that they will separate from each other.
He has two brothers who are also footballers, both - like him - youth academy graduates of Ajax and professional players. Jeffrey, the elder (two years older than him), developed his playing career with FC Den Bosch in the Eerste Divisie and USV Elinkwijk in the Hoofdklasse in the Netherlands, but an injury has forced him to retire from football.
Rodney, six years younger than Wesley, played in Ajax's own lower divisions, the Dutch international himself prevented him from joining Real Madrid's youth ranks, stating that "he is still very young and should continue to grow in the Ajax youth team".
Arjen Robben is always involved in charitable works and since retiring from playing professional football, he has featured in many charity matches. He has also been working as an ambassador of Johan Cruyff foundation, aiming to help children develop through football.
In 2017, it was announced that Wesley Sneijder will take legal action against his club Galatasaray. The reason was the decision of the Turkish club board to fine Sneijder 1.85 million pounds after he collected 10 yellow cards in the league.
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In this section of Wesley Sneijder biography, we will take a look at his career stats both on the club and international level.
During a 17 years career at club level between 2002 and 2019, Sneijder has played a total of 575 matches for six different clubs in Europe and Asia. He has also scored 156 goals during these matches. His best years were with Ajax as he scored 58 goals for them in 180 matches.
As the most capped Dutch footballer of all time, Wesley Sneijder has played 134 matches for his country between 2003 and 2018 and scored 31 goals.
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Of his most notable titles at club level, we can include Eredivisie, KNVB Cup, La Liga, Serie A, UEFA Champions League,Turkish Super Lig
and FIFA Club World Cup.
He has also finished runner-ups with Dutch national team at 2010 World Cup and were third-placed in 2014 World Cup.
He has won many individual titles including Johan Cruijff Award, UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament, FIFA World Cup Dream Team and FIFA FIFPro World XI among many others.