Saturday October 22 2011
Sneijder: 'I never wanted to leave'

Wesley Sneijder insists he “never wanted to leave Inter,” closes the door to Samuel Eto'o and praises Claudio Ranieri.

The Dutchman had been on the verge of a transfer to Manchester United over the summer and explained the situation to the Gazzetta dello Sport.

“I never wanted to leave Inter. Over the summer they called me and said, I think due to a financial issue, that I could be leaving Italy. This made me change my ideas a little bit, but once I got to pre-season training everyone made me feel important to this club.”

Sneijder was also ready to walk away after Coach Gian Piero Gasperini struggled to squeeze him into the tactics.

“I immediately told Gasperini that I wouldn't like playing in midfield at all. I'd prefer to be a second striker than in midfield. Ranieri realised where I have to be on the pitch, as I prefer providing assists to scoring goals.

“Ranieri is a very good Coach and he talked to me the same way that Jose Mourinho did, but let's not beat around the bush. Mourinho is the best.”

Despite the Nerazzurri's disastrous start that sees them in the relegation zone, Sneijder is confident they can have a strong season.

“We can make up the eight points separating us from the top of the table now that the most important players have recovered from injury.

“I see our principle opponents as being Napoli. Now we must concentrate on the games against Chievo and Atalanta so we can reach next week's match with Juventus in the right spirit. We've got to be more clinical and try to finish games off earlier.”

Although the Dutchman did not leave in the summer, Inter did cash in by selling Eto'o to Anzhi. There were rumours the Cameroon striker could return to San Siro for two months on loan during the Russian League's winter break.

“He is a great friend, but it wouldn't make much sense being here for only two months. What would happen to those who had been playing before he arrived?

“I like playing in Italy, as I enjoy the pressure. I am someone who always wants to battle and gives his best under pressure.”

Sneijder had been among the contenders for the Ballon d'Or after winning the Treble with Inter and reaching the 2010 World Cup Final with Holland.

“In order to win the Ballon d'Or, I'd have to achieve something great with Holland. The biggest regret of my career remains that World Cup Final we lost to Spain. Going into Euro 2012 we have a good chance of winning, but I don't see Italy in the top three.”

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