Tipping Sneijder to add personal gold to team success

Posted: July 8, 2010 in Football
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We might only be halfway through the year and there might be several months of football left, but is it too early to nominate a clear winner for FIFA’s World Player of the Year 2010?

Because one man has stood head and shoulders above everybody else so far this year. He doesn’t stand out like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, with an array of tricks and solo runs. He doesn’t have any noticeable ego, just goes about his business quietly and effectively.

Yet neither club nor country would be the same team without him. He is the metronome of the Inter Milan side which won an unprecedented treble, including the UEFA Champions League. He also performs this role admirably for a Dutch side about to compete in their first World Cup Final for 32 years.

This man is of course, Wesley Sneijder.

And who could realistically argue this point? Only those more obsessed with fancy skills and moments of magic would suggest anyone different. But in terms of success, consistency and ‘big game’ performances, Sneijder has had a phenomenal year.

Manuel Pellegrini knew what he was talking about when he stated his dismay at his Dutch schemer being offloaded to Inter Milan last summer, along with Arjen Robben’s sale to Bayern Munich. Sneijder didn’t have the name that Real Madrid wanted at the time. After this World Cup, they will truly recognise their folly.

For everything Sneijder has touched has turned to silverware. Leading Inter to yet another league title, this was quickly followed up with wins in the Coppa Italia and Champions League. On the international front, Holland still have a chance of glory that even the great Johan Cruyff couldn’t inspire them too.

In fact, at the time of writing, he still has a chance to steal the Golden Boot away from David Villa, having scored five goals so far, whilst he is also hotly tipped to take the Golden Ball awarded for the best player of the tournament.

This is not a man who performs intermittently either, but instead continues to play at a high standard in every game. Anytime the Dutch have required a cutting edge, he has provided it with his fantastic vision and ability to pick out a pass. This is without the goal-scoring edge he has added as well.

He is not a man that shirks the big occasions either. As Jose Mourinho returned to Chelsea in the Champions League, it was Sneijder who ran the midfield and decimated the Blues rear-guard with a series of defence-splitting passes.

In the semi-finals, Sneijder was on hand to level the scores against Barcelona, stepping up when the Catalan side looked to assert their dominance and turn the tide. Likewise in the final, Sneijder again proved his class with an assist for Diego Milito’s first strike of the evening.

Now the World Cup has come around, and with many of the big stars floundering and failing to produce their best performances, it is the Dutch who have benefitted from their star man being the one to produce the goods.

So many of the world’s best have been tarnished with accusations that they don’t show up in big games, are flat-track bullies or can be stifled easily. Yet there does not seem to be a way to keep Sneijder from weaving his magic. He will always get one second free and that’s all he needs to pick out the perfect pass.

Uruguay tried playing with a defensive midfielder to combat Sneijder, yet was left watching an orange blur. The Dutchman’s movement is far superior to that of his peers that he will always create the necessary space to make the opposition suffer.

2010 has definitely been the year of the creative midfielder, as opposed to the solo match-winner. Unfortunately for everybody else, Wesley Sneijder has managed to combine both. FIFA should reward him for such an amazing year, whilst we wait in anticipation for what else he will produce.

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Comments
  1. Peter Reynolds says:

    http://peterreynolds.wordpress.com/2010/07/08/now-i-understand-why-i-hate-english-football/

    The World Cup has been fantastic. Now I understand why I hate English football.

  2. Tom Brown says:

    And Forlan gets the player of the tournament award. Jokes in my opinion. Should have been Wesley or Iniesta

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