Sneijder relishes special Galatasaray Champions League debut

The Turkish side's January signing is excited about playing against Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, and insists his new club's regular European qualification lured him in

Galatasaray midfielder Wesley Sneijder is relishing facing Klaas-Jan Huntelaar on his Champions League return against Schalke on Wednesday.

The Group H runners-up host the Group B winners in Istanbul, and the former Real Madrid star says coming up against his Netherlands international team-mate makes the return to elite European football even more exciting.

"[My last Champions League game was] with Inter against Marseille, on March 13 2012," Sneijder told De Telegraaf.

“I remember the date, because playing in the Champions League remains indescribable. I'm glad I can finally do it again.

“And I will face Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, which makes this eighth finals [appearance] even more special."

Sneijder insists Galatasaray appealed to him over other clubs because of their regular European qualification, which is why he chose to join the Turkish team from San Siro in January.

"I had the choice of many clubs, but in making my decision I took into account that Galatasaray usually play in the Champions League every year," he added.

"And besides, Galatasaray are, in all respects, what a true club should be, though I still feel in the Netherlands they are sometimes underestimated."

Sneijder’s arrival at Gala was followed by striker Didier Drogba’s, and these transfers have ensured that Schalke are the underdogs heading into the match.

Sneijder insists, however, that: "We are on our guard. In 2010 we won the Champions League with Inter, and in 2011 Schalke knocked us out in the quarter-finals.

“At home we lost 5-2, and 2-1 in Gelsenkirchen. So it is crucial to a have a comfortable cushion heading into the second leg in Germany."