Netherlands playmaker Wesley Sneijder has been warned that his inclusion in the country's 23-man World Cup squad is in real jeopardy, unless his club form sees drastic improvements.
The Galatasary midfielder has been a key figure in the Netherlands setup for over a decade, scoring 26 times during his 97 appearances.
However, head coach Louis Van Gaal—who will, as reported by Jack Lang of the Mirror, step down from the national job after this summer's tournament and has already been strongly linked as the potential replacement for Manchester United's David Moyes—unleashed a scathing attack on Sneijder's recent form, admitting that the 29-year-old's attendance in Brazil is far from guaranteed.
According to Mark Doyle of Goal.com, Van Gaal voiced concerns over Sneijder's level of performance in Turkey and declared that only in-form players will be on the plane to Brazil.
Van Gaal told Dutch media source NRC, via Doyle, "You should be able to deliver at club level every week. If you can't deliver at your club, then you most definitely can't deliver at the national team.
Should Sneijder Be On The Plane?
"He [Sneijder] will play in Turkey until the middle of May, so I will wait and see. There is no need to decide before then."
Sneijder's contribution to the Netherlands team over the years has been immense. His performances at Euro 2008 saw him named in the UEFA Team of the Tournament, and two years later he appeared in the All-Star World Cup Team—with his displays in South Africa being a major reason behind his nation's route to the final, where they lost to Spain in extra time.
In addition to his impressive international achievements, Sneijder has enjoyed a trophy-laden club career. The Dutch No. 10's CV boasts titles in Holland, Spain, Italy and Turkey, as well as five domestic cups.
However, his crowning achievement came in 2010, when he won the Champions League with Inter Milan. Sneijder, who has previously scored a crucial goal in the semi-final, provided the assist for Diego Milito's opener in the 2-0 triumph over Bayern Munich.
Sneijder is widely regarded as one of the greatest attacking midfielders in Europe and has returned 12 goals in all competitions for Galatasaray this term, and his omission from the Netherlands setup would be a huge shock to all.
Can the Dutch afford to leave Sneijder at home? Post your thoughts below.
Stats from Soccerway and WhoScored.com