Sneijder seeking revenge
Wesley Sneijder (Supplied)
Cape Town - Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder is relishing the opportunity to get revenge on 2010 World Cup champions Spain, when the two sides play against each other in a highly anticipated Group B fixture on Friday.
Sneijder, who was a member of the squad which lost 1-0 to Spain at Soccer City four years ago, is expected to make his 100th appearance for the Oranje on Friday night. However, the memories of four years ago are unlikely to be erased if they don’t secure the maximum points against Spain, at the very least.
"That's really the low point of my career," Sneijder said of the 2010 World Cup final.
"I had to walk past the cup but could not hold it. It felt very sour. That will always be my rock bottom," added Sneijder.
"We were so close to penalties and the game was still there, just three minutes before the end of extra time.
"It was a shame because we had beaten Brazil in the quarter-final, a night when we turned the whole game. I scored twice. Two goals, one with my head, and a 1-0 deficit turned into a place in the semi-finals."
"You just felt at one point that we were going to win. And then the final against Spain just went wrong," added the Dutch midfielder.
Significantly, Sneijder and the rest of the Dutch squad are in the right frame of mind ahead of the match against Spain and are intent on making a statement early in the tournament.
"The team spirit is good, much better than two years ago (at Euro 2012)," he said.
The 30-year-old midfielder might not get another opportunity to compete at a tournament of this magnitude, which has only fuelled his desire to do well this year, not only against Spain but for the remainder of this tournament.
"These are my sixth major finals but I will keep going. You will see me in four years. This is a big week but it's only one game. We need a result against Spain. That's the point," he asserted.
"We may not have a top team. But we play compact and can switch the ball quickly. We have a chance."