Wesley Sneijder: "The Future's Oranje"

After ditching Brazil Wesley Sneijder, winner of the Italian double and Champions League with Inter Milan last season, believes it's the year of The Oranje.
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After ditching Brazil Wesley Sneijder, winner of the Italian double and Champions League with Inter Milan last season, believes it's the year of The Oranje.

Wesley, you’ve won the Champions League as well as the Italian league and cup this season - it’s not been a bad year for you, has it?

Looking back this season, who would have dreamed that we would win the Championship and cup in Italy and then go on to win the CL.I’m so proud that I have joined the ranks of top Dutch players who have won the most important European cup.

Now I want to be with Oranje and become the best team in the world. In the next month there simply can’t be any excuses anymore.

Aren’t you a bit, well, knackered after all those heroics?

Being perfectly honest I’m not tired as this gives me more energy. It’s an enormous stimulus joining the Dutch team after winning three prizes and I’m hungry for more.

If you start thinking that you’re tired or maybe could pick up an injury then you have the wrong mindset. If you’re afraid of something in life then for sure you will be continuously confronted with that same fear. I never think like that as I think about completely other things and that makes me happy. So now I’m going for the fourth prize and this is a unique chance.

Realistically, can the Dutch really win the World Cup?

It may sound strange but I have a strong feeling that it’s going to happen. With Inter at the beginning of the season I didn’t have that feeling.For this generation of Dutch players this is the right moment and we have to show that to the rest of the world. All around me I proof that feeling and the team is really strong.In the coming weeks we have to work hard and become an even stronger unit. We have been together for a long time, we are at the right age now and everyone has become better.

This is the moment of truth when everything has to come together, everything within the team has to be perfect and the spirit has to be optimal. You can have really good players but if you aren’t a team then you won’t go very far. In that aspect we are an optimal group fully prepared for a big prize.

At Germany 2006, Holland had a great side but you failed to fulfill your potential. Will this tournament be different?

During the World Cup in Germany 2006 we played well and lost in one match. At Euro2008 we showed as team how good we were and the whole world admired our football. In the group stages we were top and then we stupidly lose to Russia. These were hard lessons and this must never happen again.

Now I feel that this is the time and we can go all the way this time.It’s fine to know that the film has a happy ending especially when I’ve fast forwarded it. I’m really hungry for this success.

Is your role for the national side different from the one at Inter?

Everyone thinks I have a free role with Inter but you have to go and watch all our matches again.

With Inter it’s all very fined tuned and every player covers a lot of ground. As far as that goes Holland is the same, we have a block upfront that is creative and strong but still carry out defensive work. If you don’t have that in the modern game then you can forget it at the top.

The Netherlands tend to play the prettiest football but just don’t get the result. A fair assessment?

Ultimately we have to make sure that this time we don’t have an off-day like we had against Portugal and Russia. We’ve often shown that we can play good attacking football and can beat any opponent.But now it’s a case of not losing a match and being eliminated while we played the best football.”

“Now I want to be with Oranje and become the best team in the world. In the next month there simply can’t be any excuses anymore.”

Looking back this season, who would have dreamed that we would win the Championship and cup in Italy and then go on to win the CL.I’m so proud that I have joined the ranks of top Dutch players who have won the most important European cup.

Being perfectly honest I’m not tired as this gives me more energy. It’s an enormous stimulus joining the Dutch team after winning three prizes and I’m hungry for more.

If you start thinking that you’re tired or maybe could pick up an injury then you have the wrong mindset. If you’re afraid of something in life then for sure you will be continuously confronted with that same fear. I never think like that as I think about completely other things and that makes me happy. So now I’m going for the fourth prize and this is a unique chance.

It may sound strange but I have a strong feeling that it’s going to happen. With Inter at the beginning of the season I didn’t have that feeling.For this generation of Dutch players this is the right moment and we have to show that to the rest of the world. All around me I proof that feeling and the team is really strong.In the coming weeks we have to work hard and become an even stronger unit. We have been together for a long time, we are at the right age now and everyone has become better.

This is the moment of truth when everything has to come together, everything within the team has to be perfect and the spirit has to be optimal. You can have really good players but if you aren’t a team then you won’t go very far. In that aspect we are an optimal group fully prepared for a big prize.

A“ No, but we’re two years older than the EC in Austria and we can’t keep waiting. During the WC in Germany 2006 we played well and lost in one match. 2008 we showed as team how good we were and the whole world admired our football. In the group stages we were top and then we stupidly lose to Russia. These were hard lessons and this must never happen again.

Now I feel that this is the time and we can go all the way this time.It’s fine to know that the film has a happy ending especially when I’ve fast forwarded it. I’m really hungry for this success.

Q What’s your role in the NL team?

A“ Everyone thinks I have a free role with Inter but you have to go and watch all our matches again.

With Inter it’s all very fined tuned and every player covers a lot of ground. As far as that goes Holland is the same, we have a block upfront that is creative and strong but still carry out defensive work.

If you don’t have that in the modern game then you can forget it at the top.”

Ultimately we have to make sure that this time we don’t have an off-day like we had against Portugal and Russia. We’ve often shown that we can play good attacking football and can beat any opponent.But now it’s a case of not losing a match and being eliminated while we played the best football.”