Netherlands legend, Wesley Sneijder, has called it quits as professional footballer and formally announced the decision on Monday, as well as his new role as director in his hometown club, Utrecht – a Dutch Eredivisie side.
Sneijder, 35, ended his illustrious career at Qatari side Al-Gharafa in July after one and half season stint.
He is the the most capped Netherlands player in history so far with 134 appearances, from 2003 to 2018.
Before the twilight of his career, he starred for clubs like Ajax and Real Madrid, but it was at Inter Milan that he blossomed most under Jose Mourinho.
2010 was a very memorable year for Sneijder. He was a class act helping Inter to win treble – Italian Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the UEFA Champions League. He also led the Netherlands to reach the final of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, but lost the title to Spain.
After Inter, the former playmaker also played for Turkish Super Lig side Galatasaray from 2013 to 2017, then had a short stint with French club Nice where he featured in only eight matches before going to Qatar.
For life in retirement, Sneijder expresses his delight at taking up the role of director with Utrecht.
“My love for the city of Utrecht is tremendous and I have a very good relationship with [club owner] Frans van Seumeren,” Sneijder said.
“We’ve always talked about working together and now we’ve put those words into action.
“I’m expecting a great season at the Stadion Galgenwaard.”
Now Sneijder will take up a role away from the pitch as he looks to help Utrecht take the leap towards closing the gap between themselves and the likes of Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord.