By 90Min
March 04, 2018

Wesley Sneijder, the most-capped player in Netherlands history, has retired from international football, insisting he understands boss Ronald Koeman wants to take things in a different direction. 

The 33-year-old, who currently plies his trade with Qatari side Al-Gharafa, made his debut for Holland in 2003 and went on to play 133 games; surpassing the previous appearance record held by Edwin van der Sar of 131 in June last year.

The former Real Madrid and Inter midfielder's last showing came in their 3-0 win over Romania in November.

But after partaking in his nation's unsuccessful 2018 World Cup qualification campaign, which saw them pipped to a play-off spot by Sweden, discussions between Sneijder and manager Koeman, who was appointed in February, only left one outcome, rebuilding without the Netherlands great. 

"I understand that Koeman wants a fresh start with younger players. I respect his decision", the midfielder said, as quoted by BBC Sport

"Wesley is one of the best Dutch internationals in recent years, an amazing player with a great attitude", Koeman added regarding the player's decision. "But I want to build a new team and therefore have to make choices."

A statement from Dutch Football Association (KNVB) revealed that a potential coaching role would be on offer to Sneijder once his playing career comes to an end, something the 33-year-old seems interested in pursuing. 

"I feel proud and honoured to have been able to play for my country for 15 years, 9750 minutes, 133 games, 85 wins, 31 goals", the Dutchman tweeted via his official Twitter account

"Football is my all time passion. Good luck to the next generation. Give 100% always! Until we meet again."

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