Sneijder retires from Netherlands duty after Koeman meeting

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With the new man at the helm eager to bring young players into the Dutch set-up, a man with 133 caps to his name has agreed to step aside

Wesley Sneijder has retired from Netherlands duty, the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) has announced.

The 33-year-old agreed to walk away from international football following a meeting with head coach Ronald Koeman.

"Wesley is one of the best Dutch footballers of recent years," Koeman said via the KNVB's official website.

"But I want to build a new Oranje and I have to make some decisions."

Sneijder, who joined Al Gharafa in January, admits the move to Qatar was always likely to bring his international career to an end.

"When I left for Qatar, I knew of course that this could have an impact on my career as an international," he said.

"I also understand that Koeman wants to make a new start with younger players. We spoke very openly about this and it was a very pleasant conversation.

"I respect his choice."

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Sneijder made his senior Netherlands debut in a friendly against Portugal in April 2003.

The midfielder went on to make a record 133 appearances, breaking the previous highest tally of 130 set by retired goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.

He won the Silver Ball and Bronze Boot for his performances in the 2010 World Cup, when he inspired Netherlands to the final, where they lost 1-0 to Spain.

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