Inter Milan's Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder celebrates with the trophy after winning the UEFA Champions League final football match Inter Milan against Bayern Munich at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on May 22, 2010
Farewell then, Wesley Sneijder. The great midfielder, core of Jose Mourinho’s Inter treble team, slightly failed Galactico and one of the loveliest players to watch of his generation, has announced his retirement.
In truth it was one of those ‘He’s still playing?’ moments, as Sneijder had spent the last year of his career with Al-Gharafa in Qatar after a brief spell at European career rehabilitators Nice, but it still represents a full stop in an era of great Dutch players, considering Robin van Persie and Arjen Robben also hung up their clogs* this summer.
If nothing else, this news might finally put to bed all of those stories about a move to Manchester United, although the football rumour mill is a powerful beast, and it’ll take more than Sneijder ‘no longer being a footballer’ to stop that in its tracks.
Actually, saying all that, has Sneijder actually retired? This seems to all come from an interview in which Sneijder said “…now that I’ve quit playing…” in an interview with Eredivisie side Utrecht, but if he has truly finished with the game, he hasn’t told his agent, Guido Albers, who told Fox Sports:
It was a complete surprise for us that he announced it this way. 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.
So farewell then, Wesley Sneijder. Possibly.
Aaaaaaaaaalisson, you know this world is killing you(r calf)
Historically speaking, emotions tend to be on a hair trigger for a certain section of the Liverpool support, so hopefully they won’t react to the news that their big, beautiful goalkeeper Alisson will be out for a little while with that calf he twanged against Norwich on Friday night.
And Jurgen Klopp began his announcement of Alisson’s absence in the most Jurgen Klopp fashion imaginable:
It’s not too cool. It’s a calf injury which takes him obviously out for a while.I don’t want to make now [an] exact prognosis on when he will be back but it will not be Wednesday for sure, so now then we have to see. It takes a while. It takes a couple weeks for sure, and we have to see.
I saw already like ‘six weeks’ and stuff like this but Ali was not a lot injured in his career so I would like to wait a little bit to see how he develops in that process now. But he is not in for the next few weeks.
It’s tempting to wonder if Simon Mignolet is kicking himself, but given he had already spent 18 months or so being frustrated by sitting on the Anfield bench, he’s probably pretty comfortable with his decision to leave this summer.
So step forward, Adrian. Last season, second-choice at West Ham. Now, in nets for the European champions. Life comes at you fast.
IN OTHER NEWS
Find yourself someone who celebrates your achievements as much as Unai Emery celebrates this Joe Willock tackle.
HEROES AND ZEROS
Heroes: Hendon Football Club
Speaks for itself really, doesn’t it?
Zeros: Real Madrid
According to ESPN, Real Madrid are getting hot and heavy in their pursuit of Neymar, which does rather beg the question: why?
After that meeting, I knew they would not come back with a serious offer and, when it arrived, 19 days later, it was for the same salary as three years earlier and with less control over signings. Charnley’s comments in the programme about having a deal agreed for Joelinton in February explains a lot that I couldn’t understand at that time. After three years of unfulfilled promises, I didn’t trust them.
The Athletic continue to give chances to enthusiastic new writers, as Rafa Benitez joins them as a columnist. His first effort is a thorough explanation of why he left Newcastle.
Remember when Arsenal and Manchester United were both properly good, rather than having to feed on whatever scraps they could gather? And they really hated each other? Good times.
It’s the second leg of the Champions League qualifiers and, if you like this sort of thing, they are fascinatingly poised: only one of the ten ties tonight has a margin of more than one goal, as your Ajaxs, your Olympiacoses, your Dynamo Kyivs and your Celtics attempt to reach the big boys’ round.
Bringing you tomorrow’s Warm-Up is our very own big boy, Ben Snowball.