Wesley Sneijder ‘could have been like Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo’, he just ‘didn’t feel like giving up wine’ – The Sun

DUTCH football legend Wesley Sneijder has claimed that he could have been like Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi, but that he just didn't "feel like it".

The 35-year-old retired last year after a glittering career that saw him win a plethora of trophies and 134 caps for his country.

But many would agree that his career rather fizzled out, after his 2010 peak that saw him win the treble with Inter Milan and reach the World Cup final in South Africa.

His performances for the Serie A giants faded, and his career ended with spells at Galatasaray, Nice and Al-Gharafa.

Speaking to DiMarzio, Sneijder admitted: "I could have become like Messi or Ronaldo. I simply didn't feel like it.

"I enjoyed my life, maybe I had a glass at dinner [of wine] at dinner. Leo and Cristiano are different, they have made many sacrifices.

"And that's fine with me, my career however, was still amazing."

Sneijder came fourth in the 2010 Ballon d'Or, only falling behind the legendary Barcelona trio of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi.

But had it been he, rather than Iniesta, that scored the winner in the World Cup final at Soccer City that year, it could easily have swung another way.

Sneijder, however, appears to have no regrets – after enjoying a still quite magnificent career while clearly enjoying himself alongside his young family.

He came through the fabled Ajax academy in 2002, before a bumper £24million move to Real Madrid in 2007.

The playmaker inherited David Beckham's No23 jersey at the Santiago Bernabeu, and played his part in the club's LaLiga triumph in his first season – before moving on to Inter in 2009.

Sneijder made his 134th and final outing for his country in September 2018 – and following the 2-1 victory over Peru, was treated to a bizarre on-pitch ceremony during which he and his family watched a tribute montage from a sofa placed in the middle of the Johan Cruyff Arena pitch.

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