By Brian Bariyo Tumuramye
Former Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder has retired after a 17-year career.
The 35-year-old played a Dutch record 134 times for his country and featured in the 2010 World Cup final, in a trophy-laden career he won a La Liga title in Spain with Real Madrid and went on to win Serie A, the Champions League and the Coppa Italia treble at Inter Milan in 2009-10.
Sneijder has taken up a new role with his hometown club FC Utrecht, “Now I’ve retired from football I want a nice place to share my memories. My connection to the town is big,” He said.
A product of the Ajax youth system, Sneijder won the Eredivisie title and two Dutch Cups in Amsterdam before switching to Real Madrid for £23m in 2007.
He helped the Spanish giants win the league in his first season at the Bernabeu and moved on to Italy to become a key figure in Jose Mourinho’s Inter side that won the treble.
His club career in Europe also took him to Galatasaray in Turkey and French club Nice before he finished playing at Al Gharafa in Qatar’s top-flight.
On the international stage Sneijder collected a World Cup runners-up medal in 2010 in South Africa as the Oranje were beaten by Spain in the final.
His displays earned him the Silver Ball for the tournament’s second best player behind Uruguay’s Diego Forlan and four years later he helped Louis van Gaal’s side finish third in Brazil.