Sneijder enjoyed a superb campaign in 2009/10 campaign, as Jose Mourinho’s Inter won the Serie A, Coppa Italia and Champions League treble.
That was also followed by a 2010 World Cup final defeat to Spain for Sneijder’s Netherlands in South Africa.
Messi won the La Liga title in 2009/10 and the Champions League in 2009 and 2011, as he eventually scooped his second Ballon d’Or award.
The frustration over Messi’s win is still a sore subject for Sneijder, who retired from football in 2019, but defeat to Spain in the final is the greater regret of his career.
“It was a little unfair that I didn’t win the 2010 Ballon d’Or and Messi did“, as per an interview with Egyptian channel Alhayah TV, via Diario AS.
🗣️Wesley Sneijder on his 2010 Ballon d'Or and World Cup frustration
"It was a little unfair that I didn't win the 2010 Ballon d'Or and Messi did. But, if I had to choose between the Champions League and the Ballon d'Or, I would choose the Champions League. I'm still heartbroken… pic.twitter.com/SJkg9pIxml
— Football España (@footballespana_) December 2, 2023
“But, I’m not a guy who cries about that. The Ballon d’Or is an individual award, and I prefer to win collective trophies.
“If I had to choose between the Champions League and the Ballon d’Or, I would choose the Champions League I won, I’m very happy with that title.
“We deserved to win in the 2010 final against Spain, but they were incredible and beat us. Reaching the final was a wonderful achievement that I dreamed of and I’m still heartbroken to have lost.”
Sneijder’s fourth place spot in 2010 was the sole time he finished inside the top ten Ballon d’Or vote in his career.