One of the best midfielders in football history, Wesley Sneijder, has claimed he could have been on the same level with Juventus’ Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, but a weakness for wine held him back.
Speaking to an Italian outlet Gianluca DiMarzio, Sneijder said he did not make some sacrifices like Ronaldo or Messi in his stellar career.
“I could have become like Messi or Ronaldo. I simply didn’t feel like it. I enjoyed my life, maybe I had a glass [of wine] at dinner.
“Leo and Cristiano are different, they have made many sacrifices, and that’s fine with me,” the 35-year-old explained.
“My career, however, was still amazing,” Sneijder pointed out.
The midfield maestro took up a role with FC Utrecht in the Netherlands after retiring in 2019 and confirmed he may take on a management job in the future.
“In the last few months I have started working with young people, I enjoy assisting them in their growth.
“In life as in football, however, everything is possible. Executive, coach… anything can happen. Did I retire? Yes. At least for now,” he said.
The former Ajax star could not compete with the individual success of Cr7 or Messi, with the pair winning 11 Ballon d’Or trophies between them.
He, however, enjoyed a stellar career that included spells with Ajax, Real Madrid, Inter, and Galatasaray.
Sneijder was at the peak of his powers when he helped Netherlands cruise to the World Cup final in 2010. He was also integral in Inter Milan’s Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League triumphs under the guidance of Jose Mourinho.
Though the Netherlands were sunk by Andres Iniesta’s magic in the final, Sneijder picked up the Silver Ball for the tournament and went on to finish fourth in the Ballon d’Or that year – though some people believe he should have won the gong.
A creative and versatile midfielder, Sneijder has been recognised as one of the classic playmakers of the 2010s.
From his impeccable placement and confirmed ability to score from free-kicks, the Dutchman earned the reputation as a dead-ball specialist.
Sneijder was renowned for his powerful striking ability from long range, with either foot.
In addition to his vision and ability to create chances for teammates, the former Real Madrid superstar was also recognised for his intelligence and great technical ability on the pitch.