Netherlands midfielder Wesley Sneijder said he “enjoyed every second on the pitch” after retiring from international football.
Sneijder played his final game for the Dutch in their 2-1 defeat of Peru in Amsterdam on Thursday before being honoured in a post-match ceremony that included him watching his international highlights while sitting on a sofa in the centre circle alongside his family.
The 34-year-old quits the Oranje after 134 appearances with the high point being his role in their run to the 2010 World Cup final.
“I enjoyed every second on the pitch,” Sneijder said.
“I know now that it’s all over. But I’m also very happy to have the chance to show myself just one more time. I was able to say goodbye in this wonderful way.”
Memphis Depay scored a brace to inspire Netherlands on home soil and Sneijder heaped praise on the 24-year-old Lyon forward.
Asked who will replace him in the dressing room, Sneijder replied: “I symbolically hand over my jersey to Depay.
“He got my final Dutch jersey. He showed everyone how good he is at the moment. I hope he continues this way. We’re going to enjoy him in the Dutch team.”
Responding to Sneijder’s comments, Depay added: “Since I joined the national team, he took me under his wing. Off the pitch we keep in touch as well.
“He has so many qualities which he shows us on the pitch. He always passed me the ball. I want to be important for the Dutch team, like today.
“I already had some beautiful moments during the World Cup [in 2014] so I want to develop myself as an important person for this country and for the team.
“Wesley was a big inspiration for me. [That he gave me his shirt and his number 10] is a wonderful compliment, so I’m glad to take it.”