Wesley Sneijder is a professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Qatar Stars League club Al-Gharafa and a former Netherlands national team player. Born on 9th June 1984, Sneijder is strong with both his legs and made it into the 2010 FIFA World Cup’s dream team along with winning the Bronze Boot and Silver Ball. He has played for top clubs like Ajax, Real Madrid, Inter Milan and Galatasaray in his club career.
Born in Utrecht, Netherlands, Sneijder joined the famed Ajax’s youth setup in 1991 following his elder brother Jeffrey Sneijder’s footsteps. In the December 2002, Ronald Koeman’s Ajax was an injury-filled squad and then youth squad manager Danny Blind promoted Sneijder to the first team.
On 2nd February 2003, Sneijder made his international club debut when Ajax won 6-0 against Willem II in a 6–0 win. He immediately started dominating the Attacking midfield position of the team and it didn’t take long for him to make his European debut on 23rd April in the Champions League quarter-final encounter against AC Milan.
He made his debut on 28th March 2003 when Netherlands under-21 side against the Czech Republic.
On 30th April 2003, His first game with the senior Dutch side came against Portugal that same year in front of 27000 spectators where the match ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
Rise to glory
On 5th March 2003, Sneijder scored his first goal for Ajax in a 4–1 win over FC Groningen in the KNVB Cup. A month later, he scored his first Eredivisie goal against NAC Breda in a 3–0 win followed by goals in wins against Roda JC, RKC Waalwijk, and De Graafschap.
The following season, he scored ten league goals in 38 appearances as Ajax won the 2003–04 Eredivisie title. Sneijder's performances saw him being awarded the Johan Cruijff Prijs for the season's best young player in the Eredivisie.
During the 2006–07 season, Sneijder scored 20 goals with 18 coming in the league.
On 6th May 2007, Sneijder played for de Godenzonen in the final of the Dutch Cup as the team defeated AZ in a penalty shootout.
On 12th August 2007, Sneijder became the second most expensive Dutch player when Real Madrid cashed in €27 million to Ajax.
In his debut La Liga match for Real Madrid, he scored the winner in the Madrid derby followed by a couple of goals the following weekend against Villarreal CF.
On 27th August 2009, Sneijder was bought by Internazionale from Real Madrid for a reported fee of €15 million to raise funds and vacate the position for Kaka.He made his club debut a day after the transfer and tasted his first victory in the 4-0 Milan Derby.
On 22nd May 2010, Inter won the Champions League Final against Bayern Munich by a score of 2–0 with “the Sniper” supplying the assist for the first goal.
On 26th October 2010, Sneijder was shortlisted for the 2010 FIFA Ballon d'Or award, which Barcelona's Lionel Messi won.
He was a part of the Netherland’s squad that lost to Spain in the 2010 World Cup finals.
On 20th January 2013, Sneijder signed for Turkish giants Galatasaray for a fee of €7.5 million after contract disputes with Real Madrid.
On 27th January, Sneijder made his debut, coming on as a substitute in a 2-1 win over Beşiktaş.
He scored his first goal on 25th February for the club in a 4–2 home win against Orduspor where they came back from 2-0 down,
On 5th May 2013, Galatasaray beat Sivasspor 2–1 to win the 2012–13 Süper Lig making his fourth league title in four different leagues. He -played a total of 175 matches for the club in his five year stay scoring 46 times.
He came close to winning the World cup under Louis Van Gaal as they were knocked out in the Semifinals by Argentina in shootouts with his shot being saved in the 4-2 defeat.
On 7th August 2017, Sneijder joined Ligue 1 side Nice on a free transfer. He made 8 appearances in his 5-month stay before moving to Qatari club Al-Gharafa on 9th January 2018.
He played for Ajax for 5 seasons starting from 2002-03 and made a total of 180 appearances scoring 28 times. That was followed by a move to Real Madrid in the 2007-08 season where he stayed for only 2 seasons featuring in 66 matches and scoring on 11 occasions. A move to Jose Mourinho’s Internazionale where he played 116 matches and found the net on 22 occasions. Disputes in contract saw him move to Turkish club Galatasaray where he spent 5 seasons with 175 matches and scored 46 goals.
It was followed by a move to Nice in 2017 season and moving to Qatari club Al-Gharafa within 5 months where he has scored 10 goals in 13 appearances.
He played all the matches for Netherland’s failed World cup qualifiers and announced his retirement from international football on 4th March 2018, holding a record 133 appearances for the Oranje.