In 2010, Sneijder had a claim to being the best player in the world, as he was the key man in Jose Mourinho’s treble-winning Inter Milan, then scored five vital goals during the Netherland’s run to the World Cup final that summer.
The midfielder missed out on the Ballon d’Or though, finishing fourth behind Barcelona trio Messi, Andres Iniesta and Xavi.
But Sneijder believes he was good enough to be as brilliant as the Argentina star – and his rival Ronaldo – on a more consistent basis, if he just didn’t enjoy living his life as much.
“I could have become like Messi or Ronaldo. I simply didn’t feel like it,” he told Gianluca di Marzio.
“I enjoyed my life, maybe I had a glass [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.”
The Dutchman isn’t wrong about how good his career was. The 2009/10 season was obviously the highlight as Mourinho’s team won Serie A, the Coppa Italia and the Champions League.
After that incredible success he also helped his national team defy the odds in South Africa and reach the World Cup final, where they came up short against the incredible Spain team, in one of the most controversial finals in recent memory.
Sneijder also won Eredivisie, La Liga and Super Lig titles with Ajax, Real Madrid and Galatasaray respectively, and won the Silver Boot and Bronze Ball awards at the 2010 World Cup.
Sneijder also discussed the best teammate he ever had and Spanish midfielder Guti earns the honour.
The duo played together at Real Madrid between 2007 and 2009, with Sneijder saying: “When I started at Real Madrid, he didn’t talk to me for three months, because he ended up on the bench because of me. But then we started playing together and we had an incredible understanding.
“He’s a phenomenal player, probably the best I’ve ever played with.”
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