Wesley Sneijder has hit out at his critics after equalling Edwin van der Sar’s record figure of 130 caps for Netherlands in Sunday’s 5-0 win over Ivory Coast.
The attacking midfielder is no longer an undisputed starter for Holland and some have suggested he is past his prime.
Sneijder remains keen to represent his country, though, and got special permission from Galatasaray to travel back and forth between club and national team in recent days as he chases Van der Sar’s record.
The 32-year-old featured for Galatasaray in the 3-2 over Alanyaspor on May 29, before making a substitute appearance in Netherlands’ 2-1 friendly win over Morocco two days later. He then immediately flew back to Istanbul for his club’s final game of the season on Saturday, only to return to the national team again for Sunday’s game.
A number of pundits criticised his efforts to catch Van der Sar at all costs, but Sneijder is not impressed by such comments.
“Van der Sar was approaching the age of 40, I am almost 33,” Sneijder told Fox Sports.
“This really is fantastic. It is something very special to now be level with Van der Sar. Goalkeepers generally play on longer than outfield players, so it is somewhat easier for a goalkeeper to achieve this.
130 – Wesley Sneijder has equalled Edwin van der Sar as the most capped player in the history of the Netherlands (both 130 caps). Legend. pic.twitter.com/iykrL9aVUj
— OptaJohan (@OptaJohan) June 4, 2017
“I have seen and heard some people criticise me, but I cannot take them seriously… And I think the rest of Netherlands feels the same way about those critics.
“They should do whatever they want. I think they are just jealous. It only motivates me to keep going and I want to get as many caps as possible to build on this record.”
Sneijder can become the sole record holder if he features in Friday’s World Cup qualifier against Luxembourg.
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