ISTANBUL – It’s the ‘transfer of the century’, according to the big Turkish sports paper Fanatik. Competitor FotoMac brings the news too and adds that ‘it’s not a joke but reality’ and that Sneijder is ‘very excited’.
Many normal newspapers also report the transfer of the Dutch star player to the Istanbul club Galatasaray on their front pages. The biggest Turkish TVchannel NTV blew a passing remark by Sneijder that he ‘loves big games and wants to play against Besiktas’ out of proportion: ‘Sneijders’ first statement is for Besiktas!’ Besiktas, together with Galatasaray and Fenerbahce at the top of Turkish soccer, is second in the competition, Galatasaray is in the leading position.
When the news broke on Sunday, Sneijder immediately became the most debated subject among Turkish twitter users, with the ‘hashtag’ WelcomeToGalatasarayWesleySnijder. And on Monday morning ‘Sneijder’ is still the most popular subject on the micro blogging site.
Besides the news about Sneijder himself, his spouse Yolanthe also makes it into the papers. She wrote in Turkish on twitter: ‘Thanks for your sweet messages!’ which turned out to be enough for a news article, of course with picture.
Sports paper Fanatik will make it a Sneijder week. The front page promises a Wesley Sneijder poster on Tuesday, and on Wednesday and Thursday a picture album in two takes. They start by showing Sneijders’ Galatasaray shirt, which they claim ‘is ready!’.
Galatasaray is doing well in the Turkish competition: they lead the list with 33 points from 18 games. Sneijder, captain of the Dutch national team, undoubtedly has been in touch about his transfer to Galatasaray with his good friend Dirk Kuijt, deputy captain, who signed a contract with Fenerbahce last year. That club is doing less well, even though Kuijt often scores: they are currently in fourth place.
Wesley Sneijder will come to Istanbul on Monday afternoon to sign his contract. At 15.30, writes FotoMac. There will no doubt be a huge group of fans waiting to welcome him at the airport.