Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder said he “enjoyed every second on the pitch” after retiring from international football.
Sneijder farewelled the national team as Netherlands defeated South American visitors Peru 2-1 in Thursday’s friendly in Amsterdam.
The 34-year-old, who helped Netherlands reach the 2010 World Cup final, made his 134th and final Oranje appearance before being substituted to a rousing ovation at John Cruyff Arena.
“I enjoyed every second on the pitch,” Sneijder said after the match.
“I know now that it’s all over. But I’m also very happy to have the chance to show myself just one more time. I was able to say goodbye in this wonderful way.”
— OnsOranje (@OnsOranje) September 6, 2018
Memphis Depay scored a brace to inspire Netherlands on home soil and Sneijder heaped praise on the 24-year-old Lyon forward.
Asked who will replace him in the dressing room, Sneijder replied: “I symbolically handover my jersey to Depay.
“He got my final Dutch jersey. He showed everyone how good he is at the moment. I hope he continues this way. We gonna enjoy him in the Dutch team.”
Tonight @sneijder101010 plays his last game for the Dutch nation. 134 caps in total! You’ve inspired me on the pitch and I wanna thank you for the beautiful memories I got to experience with you. #134caps #wesleysneijder
— Memphis (@Memphis) September 6, 2018
Responding to Sneijder’s comments, Depay added: “Since I joined the national team, he took me under his wings. Off the pitch we keep in touch as well.
“He has so many qualities which he shows us on the pitch. I always passed me the ball. I want to be important for the Dutch team, like today.
“I already had some beautiful moments during the world cup . So therefore I want to develop myself as an important person for this country and for the team.
“Wesley was a big inspiration for me. [That he gave me his shirt and his number 10] Is a big sign of him to me. It’s a wonderful compliment, so I’m glad to take it.”
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