Wesley Sneijder has revealed that his Real Madrid performances were affected by his rock and roll lifestyle off the field.
The Dutchman signed for Los Blancos in 2007, lifting the La Liga title during his first season at the club. However, the following campaign proved more of a struggle with Sneijder departing the Spanish capital in 2009.
The enigmatic midfielder opened up on his time at Santiago Bernabeu in his autobiography (via Marca), claiming that his off-field antics occasionally affected his performances.
“I was young and I liked success and to be the centre of attention,” Sneijder says about playing for Real in his book. “But bad things happened there. It wasn’t drugs, but alcohol… I got used to living like a star.
“You’re adored as a Real Madrid and going out on the street spending thousands of euros and paying for things for people.
“I can’t say that I was deprived of anything. I played pretty well, but it was said that I could have done even better.
“I stayed alone and I saw little Jessey very little. I could only be alone… and I didn’t realise that the bottle of vodka had become my best friend.
“Physically, I didn’t realise. I would get up the next day as if nothing had happened. I kept training but getting worse each time and clearly less focused.
“I lied to myself, saying that everything was going fine and took refuge in my footballing intelligence. I sank physically. I ran less, I hid from my coach more. I also thought that nobody would notice.”
Sneijder’s career really took off after he departed Madrid in 2009. Signing for Inter, the playmaker became a vital cog in José Mourinho’s treble winning side of 2010.
Many felt he should have been awarded the Ballon d’Or in 2010, which was ultimately won by Lionel Messi, a player that Sneijder recently insisted he could have been better than, he simply “didn’t feel like it.”