Former Netherlands star Wesley Sneijder has retired from football after arranging a business deal with Eredivisie side Utrecht.
The 35-year-old has been without a club since his 18-month deal with Qatari side Al-Gharafa ended in July.
He has signed a contract with Utrecht’s business arm and will be able to watch the team play from a private box this season.
Now, the Dutchman will take up a role at Utrecht as a director.
The Eredivisie side published on Twitter that Sneijder would be joining the club in a non-playing capacity, signing a contract which will enable the former playmaker to help the club move forward on the pitch.
Sneijder himself revealed his delight at taking up the role with his hometown team, who he never played for during his career.
“My love for the city of Utrecht is tremendous and I have a very good relationship with [club owner] Frans van Seumeren,” Sneijder said.
“We’ve always talked about working together and now we’ve put those words into action.
“I’m expecting a great season at the Stadion Galgenwaard.”
The 35-year-old began his career in Amsterdam with Ajax, playing there for five seasons before making the jump to Real Madrid. He thrived in his debut campaign in the Spanish capital, but his second took a dip as injury problems affected his performances.
Los Blancos decided to move on from Sneijder and it was at Inter where he proved his worth as a world-class footballer.
Sneijder played for the Dutch national team on 134 occasions, which makes him their holder ahead of Edwin van der Sar by four games.
During those matches, he scored 31 times – 10th all-time for the Oranje – and there is no denying that he is one of the Netherlands’ greatest ever players.
Now Sneijder will take up a role away from the pitch as he looks to help Utrechttake the leap towards closing the gap between themselves and the likes of Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Feyenoord.
CREDIT : www.marca.com