August 9, 2017
Sneijder: the stats of a giant
At 33, Wesley Sneijder has the stats of a giant of the game
Since his professional debut with Ajax (2002/03), Wesley Sneijder has scored 102 in all the leagues in which he has played. Two-footed, clever, and with a bullet shot, the joint-leading scorer at the 2010 FIFA World Cup (5 goals) remains a serious goal threat. The details? Forty-three goals with Ajax in 126 Eredivisie matches, 11 in 52 Liga outings with Real, 13 in 76 Serie A games at Inter, and 35 in 124 Super Lig encounters with Galatasaray.
How was the Netherlands' most-capped player's (131 international appearances) last season at Galatasaray? During the 2016/17 campaign, the midfielder scored five times in 28 matches and registered 15 assists, a tally that made him the most effective goal-provider in the league, ahead of Ricardo Quaresma (13).
The number of Champions League matches played by the Utrecht-born man. Winner in 2009/10 with Inter Milan, the man who might have won the Ballon d'Or that year is one of the Dutch players to have featured most in the competition. Clarence Seedorf (125), Edwin van der Sar (98), Arjen Robben (97), Frank de Boer (82) and Phillip Cocu (79) are the only compatriots who have played more games in European club football's elite competition.
• In 2010, the old system of votes, based on the choices of 208 journalists, was replaced by a new system that also took into account the votes of the 208 coaches and captains of FIFA's member countries. Under the old system, Sneijder would have won the award (7.70% of the vote for him, 7.53% for Iniesta and 5.96% for Xavi; Lionel Messi was given the honour).