Sneijder: I could have been at Messi and Ronaldo’s level if I was more committed

Wesley Sneijder believes he could have been mentioned in the same breath as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo if he was more committed.

The 35-year-old retired as a player in August after hanging up his boots following a stint in Qatar with Al-Gharafa.


Sneijder in fact believes he could have rivalled the game’s very best players had he given everything to the game.

“I have to be honest and admit that I could have been mentioned in the same breath as Messi and Ronaldo if I had been 100 per cent committed. I know that,” Sneijder told Fox Sports NL.

“But I did not want to do that and I have no regrets about it. It’s not that I didn’t have it in me, but I simply didn’t want to do it.

“I enjoyed my footballing career as it was, both on and off the pitch. I won every trophy I could win at club level, so I have no regrets at all. I am a team player and I like to be successful as a team.

“People still approach me to tell me that they feel I should have won the Ballon d’Or in 2010, but I keep telling them that winning the Champions League was nicer than an individual trophy.


“Of course, it would have been the icing on the cake, but it’s satisfying enough that people tell me I should have won it.”

Sneijder finished fourth in voting for the Ballon d’Or in 2010 with Messi taking home the award ahead of Andres Iniesta and Xavi.

Since retiring as a player, Sneijder has returned to the Netherlands and signed on with Eredivisie side Utrecht as part of a business deal.

“I have a lot of love for this city. Now that I’ve quit playing, I want a nice place to share my experiences,” he told the club’s TV channel in August.

Sneijder also threw some shade on Ronaldo’s free-kick taking ability.

“If you look at Cristiano, he will stand behind the ball 30 times and won’t score 1,” Sneijder went on.

“Then I think to myself, how?”