Galatasaray AŞ have pulled off an impressive coup by signing Dutch international playmaker Wesley Sneijder from FC Internazionale Milano for a fee in the region of €7.5m.
Sneijder's move ends an association with Inter that began in 2009 following his switch from Real Madrid CF. The 28-year-old, who has been capped 90 times by his country and has featured in five major international tournaments, has agreed a three-and-a-half-year contract with Cim Bom.
"I realised how big the Galatasaray community is after arriving at the airport," said Sneijder. "I am very happy and proud that I will play for such a big club. I am in good shape and if the coach picks me I want to play in the derby against Beşiktaş [on Sunday]. Also, it's a real honour to be compared to a legendary player like [Gheorghe] Hagi. I know how important his name is at Galatasaray. He was a legend and I have come here to be a legend."
A product of AFC Ajax's revered academy, Sneijder went on to score 43 goals in 126 Eredivisie appearances for the Amsterdam club. A €27m transfer to Madrid followed in 2007, and he won the Liga title in the first of his two seasons in the Spanish capital. Sneijder's crowning moment would come with the Nerazzurri, though, scoring twice in the latter stages of the UEFA Champions League en route to Inter's final victory against FC Bayern München in 2010.
Galatasaray face FC Schalke 04 in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, with the first leg in Istanbul on 20 February and the return in Germany on 12 March.
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