I have anaemia, says 'exhausted' Sneijder

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The Independent Football

Internazionale star Wesley Sneijder has been diagnosed with anaemia after passing out at halftime in Saturday's Serie A match with Brescia.

Having helped guide Inter to a treble last season and then the Netherlands to the World Cup final, followed by his wedding, Sneijder says he is simply exhausted.

"I started to shake and felt pain in my entire body," Sneijder told Dutch daily De Telegraaf. "In the changing room I got sick and passed out briefly.

"My heart and blood pressure were checked immediately. Later I travelled to the Netherlands for a second opinion. The conclusion was I have anaemia and my whole body is exhausted."

Inter's press office did not comment, although Sneijder was left out of the squad for last night's match in Lecce. Sneijder is one of the leading candidates for the 2010 Fifa Ballon d'Or World Player of the Year award, which will be announced on 10 January next year.

Sneijder has struggled to reach his best form this season, and his illness is only the latest in a series of recent medical problems for Inter. Centre-back Walter Samuel is likely to miss the rest of the season after damaging ligaments in his right knee against Brescia and Brazil international right-back Maicon is out also after straining a muscle in his left thigh.

Midfielder Dejan Stankovic is set to return from injury against Lecce, but Inter are still without goalkeeper Julio Cesar and midfielders Thiago Motta, Esteban Cambiasso and Sulley Muntari.