La Liga

Sneijder reveals details of 'rock and roll' lifestyle at Real Madrid

The Dutchman didn't enjoy a particularly fruitful spell at the Santiago Bernabeu

3:08pm on Friday 26th June 2020
Martin Macdonald

Wesley Sneijder says that vodka became his “best friend” when at Real Madrid, as he reveals details about his time with Los Blancos in his new autobiography.

The 26-year-old played for Madrid between 2007 and 2009, but was unable to replicate the form he enjoyed at Ajax, eventually being sold to Inter where he shone under Jose Mourinho to win the treble.

When at Madrid, Sneijder admits his attitude was not the best, as he became embroiled in the glamorous lifestyle of playing for one of the world’s biggest clubs.

"I was young and enjoyed the success and attention,” he said at a pre-publishing meeting for his new book.

"It must have gone wrong there -- later. No drugs, but alcohol and 'rock-and-roll'. I got used to that, as one of the stars. You are worshipped as a Real player.

"All your missteps are instantly forgiven because of your status and popularity. Even if I rolled over the street and spent thousands of euros, or gave rounds to the whole bar. I cannot say that I resisted enough.

"I was left alone and didn't see the little one, Jessey [Sneijder’s son], much, that was s---. And I'm bad at being alone. Why would you even be alone when you have enough friends to spend your time with.

"I just didn't realise that the bottle of vodka became my best friend."

He reveals that he was advised to clean up his act by compatriots Ruud van Nistelrooy and Arjen Robben, who knew he had the talent to perform to a higher standard.

"I played pretty well, but they said I could do even better," he said of the Dutch pair.

"I still played a lot, but not so good and sharply, less concentrated.

“My attitude was unworthy of Real Madrid. I lied to myself that it was going well and I held my own by my football intelligence. Physically I deteriorated. I ran less, covered up a lot with my technique and my kicking technique. I also thought no one noticed."

After Real Madrid, Sneijder would go on to play for Inter, Galatasaray, Nice, and Al-Gharafa, where he would eventually retire.

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