Sneijder retires from internationals
Wesley Sneijder has announced his international retirement after meeting with new Netherlands boss Ronald Koeman.
The midfielder, now 33 and playing in Qatar, is Holland's most capped player, having made 133 appearances for his country since making his debut in 2003.
Wesley is one of the best Dutch internationals in recent years, an amazing player with a great attitude.Ronald Koeman
However, with the Netherlands out of this summer's World Cup in Russia, and playing his club football out of the public eye, Sneijder feels the time is right to end his international career.
He indicated that Koeman wanted to bring in fresh faces as the Netherlands prepare for the European Championship qualifiers starting next year.
He said: "When I left for Qatar, I knew of course that this could have an impact on my career as an international.
"I also understand that Koeman wants to make a new start with younger players. We spoke very openly about this and it was a very pleasant conversation. I respect his choice."
It calls time on a successful international career. Sneijder was part of the Netherlands team that reached the World Cup final in 2010.
However, losing out on a place in Russia means they have now failed to reach the finals of the last two major tournaments and Koeman, newly installed as boss, indicated that he wants to take the team in a new direction.
"Wesley is one of the best Dutch internationals in recent years, an amazing player with a great attitude," Koeman said.
"But I want to build a new team and therefore have to make choices."
With the Netherlands absent from Russia, holders Germany are 8/1 to win the World Cup for a fifth time putting them level with Brazil who are priced at 4/1. Argentina, runners-up four years ago are 11/1 to win the trophy this summer.
England are 5/2 to reach the semi-finals while Harry Kane is 8/1 to be the tournament's leading goalscorer.
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