In this Saturday June 5, 2010 file photo Wesley Sneijder of The Netherlands celebrates scoring during the friendly soccer match Netherlands versus Hungary at ArenA stadium in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Midfielder Wesley Sneijder is retiring from international football after 15 years and a record 133 appearances for the Netherlands. Photo: AP Photo

THE HAGUE Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder has decided to end his international football career after 14 years and a record 133 caps during a golden era for his country.

Alongside Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie and Mark van Bommel, Sneijder propelled the Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup final where an extra-time goal from Andres Iniesta saw Spain win the title.

At 33, Sneijder signed with Qatari outfit Al Gharafa in January after a poor six-month stint at Nice in France.

The Netherlands suffered the indignity of failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup despite having reached the 2014 semi-finals. They recently appointed Ronald Koeman as the new national coach.

The former Barcelona defender went to see Sneijder in Qatar this weekend.

"I understand that Koeman wants a fresh start with younger players. We spoke openly about it and I respect his decision," said Sneijder.

He played at three European championships and three World Cups in the orange shirt and in his prime was both a masterful long-range passer and slick finisher.

In club football he starred for Ajax, Real Madrid and above all Inter Milan, with whom he won a Serie A, Italian Cup and Champions League treble in 2010.

He also won league titles in his homeland, Spain and Turkey.

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