What a season it has been for the Dutch Wizard! Although it didn't start out all that well for him, Wesley Sneijder has certainly put on a show of late.
Thanks to the signings of superstars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kaka, and Xabi Alonso, Sneijder was considered surplus goods at the Bernabeu. He was forced to leave Real Madrid despite his willingness to stay and fight for a place in the starting lineup.
Despite been told publicly that he wasn't needed, it still took a text message from "The Special One," Jose Mourinho, to convince him to leave the Spanish giants for the Italian champions, Inter Milan. On paper it looked logical, Sneijder was going to be the missing link on Inter's team, connecting the combative midfield with the strikers.
But no one would have predicted that he would fit in like a glove.
Despite making his debut a day after he signed the contract, Sneijder made an immediate impact by being on the winning side in the Milan derby, 4–0 against AC Milan.
Time and again he kept delivering passes that created havoc in the opponent's defensive end. He also scored some important goals.
On January 9, 2010, he scored two stunning free kicks against Siena in a game that Inter won 4–3. For most English fans his destruction of Chelsea will remain a highlight.
On April 6, Sneijder scored a free kick against CSKA Moscow in the UEFA Champions League quarterfinal in the sixth minute, making it 2–0 on aggregate goals for Inter Milan.
On April 20 he scored Inter's equalising goal during the first leg if their UEFA Champions League semifinal against Barcelona. He leveled the game by firing in a right-footed shot off of a Diego Milito pass. Inter went on to win the game 3–1.
Sneijder finished the season with Inter on a fantastic note, winning the treble of Serie A, Coppa Italia, and UEFA Champions League.
He started the FIFA World Cup 2010 full of confidence, scoring the winning goal for the Dutch in a 1-0 victory over Japan. He was selected as the man of the match in the first two matches of the group stage.
In the Netherlands' round of 16 match against Slovakia, Sneijder scored in a 2-1 victory. He also provided what was at first thought to be an assist for the first goal against Brazil in the quarterfinals, but he was later credited with the goal.
He then scored a header off of a corner and consigned Brazil to a 2-1 defeat, bringing his goal total in the tournament to four. Sneijder was again named man of the match on FIFA's website.
In the semifinal against Uruguay, Sneijder scored in the 70th minute, taking his total in the competition so far to five, raising him to first place in terms of goals scored, along with Spain's David Villa. The Netherlands won the match 3-2 and progressed to the World Cup final, with Sneijder yet again being named man of the match.
This is Wesley Sneijder's year. He has been a Champions League winner with Inter Milan and World Cup finalist with Holland. Thanks to him, the Netherlands will face either Spain or Germany in possibly the most important match in Dutch history.
It's the season of Sneijder's life, stranger than fantasy and more compelling than fiction, a journey that takes him from the fringes of Real Madrid to being a god in football.
He has wowed the crowds at the World Cup with his dynamic performances serving as the beacon to this breathtaking Dutch team. Sneijder is the thrust of this team, relying on his creative talents to steer them towards the final.
One must also look at the perennial contenders for the FIFA World Player of the Year. Rooney? Failed. Ronaldo? Failed. Kaka? Failed. Messi? Failed to score.
Those four were supposed to be the best, and when it came time for them to be at their best, we did not get their best.
So maybe we need to look elsewhere for the best player in the.
Step forward Wesley Sneijder, the player I'd now say is the world's best.
He must win the World Player of the Year, and it would be a real insult to football if he doesn't.
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