Sneijder Believes He Had The Talent Of Messi And Ronaldo
Former Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder has insisted that he could have been on par with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo had he been more committed during his career.
Sneijder announced his retirement from professional football in August 2019, following a short stint in Qatar with Al-Gharafa.
The 35-year-old won the treble with Inter Milan in 2010 before leading his country to the World Cup final, where they ended up losing to Spain, kind courtesy of Andres Iniesta’s late extra time goal.
Despite his achievements with club and country in 2010, Sneijder surprisingly missed out on the Ballon D’Or award to Messi, ultimately finishing fourth behind Xavi and Iniesta.
While speaking with Fox SportsNL, the Dutchman admitted that though he had the potential to reach the level of Messi and Ronaldo, he did not want to and he does not regret it.
"I have to be honest and admit that I could have been mentioned in the same breath as Messi and Ronaldo if I had been 100 per cent committed. I know that," Sneijder said.
"But I did not want to do that and I have no regrets about it. It's not that I didn't have it in me, but I simply didn't want to do it.
"I enjoyed my footballing career as it was, both on and off the pitch. I won every trophy I could win at club level, so I have no regrets at all. I am a team player and I like to be successful as a team.”
"People still approach me to tell me that they feel I should have won the Ballon d'Or in 2010, but I keep telling them that winning the Champions League was nicer than an individual trophy.”
"Of course, it would have been the icing on the cake, but it's satisfying enough that people tell me I should have won it."