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Wesley Sneijder marks the end of a great Dutch generation

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After hearing about Wesley Sneijder’s retirement from football, we have to talk about yet another great but failed Dutch generation.

Dutch football seems to be cursed in many of their generations, Wesley Sneijder’s retirement proves that he was part of a great number of players who nearly gave Holland a trophy.

This has occurred since the days of Johan Cruyff, when he led the first great generation from his country to a FIFA World Cup final in 1974 but lost against the dominant Germans.

Sneijder was part of three or four very talented offensive Dutch players from his era, people who were considered world-class stars in their own right.

Apart from him, we had Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie, and Rafael van der Vaart.

All of these players were exceptional, they were all considered people who could finally break the curse for the Netherlands and they nearly did it back in 2010.

In fact, Sneijder had an incredible year during that era while he was playing for Internazionale Milano.

To many football experts and voters, he was also one of the players who was robbed by Messi of a chance to win the Ballon d’Or.

Sneijder was actually the only player from his generation who came closer to winning this award, he won the treble as an Inter player under manager Jose Mourinho that year.

After beating Bayern Munich in the final at the Santiago Bernabeu that same year, Wesley went on the play the FIFA World Cup in South Africa with his country.

That Dutch squad was nothing like the previous teams from the past were, this wasn’t a Total Football kind of team because there was another great offensive squad in the tournament.

Although Sneijder did help Holland reach the World Cup final, he wasn’t that important against Spain because of how dominant they were with the ball.

Only Arjen Robben had two chances that could’ve given Sneijder that chance to win the Ballon d’Or, but Iker Casillas’ brilliant saves denied him that opportunity.

This player retired without that satisfaction, but also with the same historical frustration that all the previous generations before him had.

This massive heartbreak may have started with Johan Cruyff’s generation, but it continued with at least another two after that.

The one led by Sneijder was very good as they reached a final and a semifinal, but they simply couldn’t get past that threshold that prevented them from becoming eternal.

There was one breed of players who did win a trophy, but it was no World Cup.

The Dutch generation that won something.

Wesley Sneijder’s frustration also came with the acknowledgment that he wasn’t part of even one of the most talented generations in Dutch football history.

There was another group of players who were even considered better than Johan Cruyff’s, that was the one led by Marco van Basten, Frank Rijkaard, and Ruud Gullit.

These three players were amongst the most spectacular trios in football history, they really did win everything when they played at AC Milan.

However, they were never good enough to get far in a World Cup tournament. What they did accomplish was the Netherlands’ only major trophy achievement, which was the 1988 European Championship.

This only success in Dutch football is still the furthest they’ve gone in football history, and something that haunted Wesley Sneijder and his teammates for a decade.

Today’s generation will have to carry this burden to the future, they are very talented as well but they have to fight against those demons if they want to win another important trophy.

Wesley Sneijder’s retirement is a message to that new breed of players led by Virgil van Dijk, Matthijs de Ligt, and Frenkie de Jong.

Will this new generation of Dutch players accomplish what Wesley Sneijder wasn’t able to do during his international career? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.