Sneijder could continue playing as agent admits 'complete surprise' to retirement announcement

By Sports Desk August 12, 2019

Wesley Sneijder's retirement announcement came as "a complete surprise" to his agent, who says the Netherlands great could yet continue playing.

Former Inter star Sneijder suggested on Monday his playing days were over as Utrecht announced a new business agreement with the 35-year-old.

However, the playmaker's representative, Guido Albers, says a final decision will not be made until he has met with Sneijder to discuss his plans.

"It was a complete surprise for us that he announced it this way," he said to FOX Sports.

"I had planned a meeting with him next Thursday to discuss the options he still has and then we were going to decide how to announce this to the public. So, next Thursday we can decide if this decision is certain."

"He has some things to do in Doha, where he still lives and there are still a few clubs who probably want to sign him, so I'd like to tell him about that.

"He just came back from America. We will discuss it on Thursday and then he can decide what to do. Normally you consult each other about these things, but I think he just announced it in all his enthusiasm today."

Sneijder had told Utrecht's official TV channel: "I have a lot of love for this city. Now that I've quit playing, I want a nice place to share my experiences."

The all-time leading appearance-maker for Netherlands has been without a club since his contract with Al-Gharafa expired last month.

Related items

  • Manchester United defender Jones eyes Europa League chance Manchester United defender Jones eyes Europa League chance

    Manchester United defender Phil Jones views the Europa League as an opportunity to work his way into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first-team plans.

    The centre-back has not managed a single minute this season, with manager Solskjaer preferring Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof in front of David de Gea.

    Jones made it to the bench for the narrow Premier League victory over Leicester City and could come into selection contention when United begin their European campaign against Astana at Old Trafford on Thursday.

    It is the first of three matches in the space of a week for the Red Devils.

    "There are players like myself who've not been involved as much, but it's a chance for everyone to get games," Jones told United's official match programme.

    "It's a busy period when all the games come thick and fast, when you need a big squad with everyone ready to fight. But it's a period we relish."

    Eric Bailly's knee injury and Chris Smalling's loan move to Roma weakened United's centre-back stocks but Jones, a member of England's 2018 World Cup squad, understands it will be difficult to dislodge Solskjaer's regular starters.

    "Since I came to this club – when I walked through the door – I knew I wasn't just going to walk into the team and expect to play," the 27-year-old added.

    "Today's no different. Of course I want to play, but we've got some quality players in that position. I'll wait for my chance and hopefully I'll get a chance sooner rather than later."

    United's other Europa League opponents in Group L are Serbian side Partizan and Dutch outfit AZ.

  • Willian: I wanted to take penalty but Barkley felt confident Willian: I wanted to take penalty but Barkley felt confident

    Willian has confirmed he asked to take the crucial penalty which Ross Barkley failed to convert in Chelsea's Champions League loss to Valencia on Tuesday.

    England international Barkley skimmed his attempt off the top of the crossbar in the 87th minute of the Premier League side's 1-0 home loss.

    The midfielder had been introduced from the bench seven minutes earlier and only settled over the spot-kick following a debate with starters Willian and Jorginho.

    Blues boss Frank Lampard later revealed Barkley to be the designated penalty taker but experienced winger Willian had hoped to be entrusted with the chance.

    "He was confident about taking it and I asked to take it too," Willian said.

    "But he was confident. He ended up missing it. That could happen to me or any other player, like Jorginho who also takes the penalties.

    "It is important he keeps his head up. When you win, you win together and when you lose, you lose together too."

    Barkley's miss and Rodrigo Moreno's earlier goal for Valencia contributed to a difficult night for Chelsea, who lost Mason Mount to a leg injury.

    The result left Lampard's men with work to do ahead of next month's trip to Ligue 1 side Lille, who were 3-0 losers to Ajax in Group H's other game.

    "We expected a positive result," Willian said.

    "We expected to start at home with a victory, but unfortunately we lost it. We have five games left to qualify. I think we have a chance, of course.

    "We have to improve and we have to keep our heads up and keep working. We have everything in front of us."

  • Sterling can succeed Messi as world's best player, says Xavi Sterling can succeed Messi as world's best player, says Xavi

    Barcelona great Xavi believes Raheem Sterling is on course to emerge as the world's best player when Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo leave centre stage.

    Manchester City star Sterling has started the new season in scintillating fashion, scoring eight times for club and country.

    His goal return and overall effectiveness has markedly improved with Pep Guardiola's guidance and the 24-year-old is now one of the first players chosen for the Premier League champions.

    Sterling won Europe's Golden Boy award in 2014 - given to the continent's brightest young talent - and Xavi thinks the England international is on course to replace Messi and Ronaldo at the front of the queue for further honours.

    Xavi told The Mirror: "Messi is the best ever for me, and even though they're both still playing at a very high level, there will come the day not so long away when somebody else must step into those shoes.

    "You look at young players who can be crowned the future best in the world and you still think of Neymar, [Kylian] Mbappe, [Mohamed] Salah and of course Sterling. I look at the moment and Sterling is winning that race.

    "He's always been a good player, a dangerous player, but under Pep he [has] become one of the best in the world.

    "I know how Pep works - he would have worked closely with him since his arrival - where he needs to improve and what he needed to work on.

    "We're now seeing the results of that. He's still young and can be the world's best."

    Barca captain Messi, 32, and Juventus forward Ronaldo, 34, have dominated the game's top awards for the past decade, winning the Ballon d'Or five times apiece since 2008.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.