Wesley, Yolanthe Sneijder enjoying Turkish life

Wesley, Yolanthe Sneijder enjoying Turkish life

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Wesley, Yolanthe Sneijder enjoying Turkish life

Wesley (R) and Yolanthe Sneijder pose for photographers at a press event to promote their upcoming commercials, where the couple has acted together in front of the camera for the first time. AA photo

Wesley and Yolanthe Sneijder have already adjusted to Turkish life in less than three months in Istanbul.

The couple relocated to Istanbul after Galatasaray signed Wesley Sneijder from Inter Milan and the Dutch football star and his model/actress wife are enjoying life in Turkey.

The former Real Madrid and Inter star said he was trying to learn the language by speaking to his Galatasaray teammates, just like he did in Spain and Italy. Wesley Sneijder said he learned how to speak perfect Spanish in six months and it took just three months to speak Italian while at Inter.

“Now it’s a bit more difficult,” the attacker said at a press conference April 15. “Give us one more year, and we will make the same press conference in Turkish.”

The Sneijders appeared before the Turkish press to introduce their new commercial for Lipton Ice Tea.

That television ad marks the first time that the popular couple has acted together in front of the camera. This is not Yolanthe Sneijder’s first job in Turkey. Last month, she performed on the catwalk for the Adl & Cengiz Abazoğlu creations during Istanbul Fashion Week. As part of the Lipton campaign, she will also act in the Turkish comedy series “Yalan Dünya.”

“We really love Turkey. Turkey accepted us, loved us, embraced us and we hope to stay here for a long time,” Yolanthe Sneijder said, before thanking the audience in Turkish. “We are having a good time and a fun time with Galatasaray. Teşekkür ederim.”

Yolanthe ‘yenge’ and Wesley ‘abi’

Yolanthe Sneijder said she liked being referred as “yenge,” a Turkish word to describe the wife of one’s brother, in the media or on Twitter.

“What I like is that everybody is calling me ‘yenge’ and he is the ‘abi’ [elder brother],” she said. “I have a large family with eight sisters and four brothers, but now we have 90 million brothers and sisters.”
A key element in Turkish living is the food, and Wesley Sneijder has already developed a fond interest in local food. Yolanthe Sneijder said she cooked every day but trying to cook a Turkish meal is not that easy. Recently, she tried making a meal with red pepper and more spice, only to get the answer “Almost, baby, but it’s not Turkish yet,” from Wesley Sneijder. They are also fond of baklava, and buy it every day because they have a patisserie on the corner of their street, where they are regularly treated to discounts, but “they are dangerous” because Yolanthe Sneijder “has to work out even more” when she eats them.

In the first couple of weeks at Galatasaray, Wesley Sneijder struggled to match his best form, but in the last few fixtures, he has shown signs of finding his true form. The Oranje number 10 said the adaptation period was now over for him.

“In the beginning, the expectations were very high, expectations were high also for myself,” the Dutchman said. “It was a bit difficult; it was all new, a new system. Now I feel good and comfortable here. I am really happy to be here.”

The attacker said his views on the Turkish league had changed a lot in the last two months.

“Before I came here I thought there were four or five good teams and the rest were not as good, but I saw that this is not true,” Wesley Sneijder said.

There are five matches left and Galatasaray is in the driving seat with a four-point advantage over archrival Fenerbahçe, which boasts his compatriot Dirk Kuyt. With the potentially title-deciding Fenerbahçe-Galatasaray derby looming, one wonders whether the two Dutchmen started teasing each other, but Wesley Sneijder is not looking that far now.

“We have three important games before that,” Wesley Sneijder said. “We are going for the title and we are focused but I am thinking about the [Elazığspor] game on Friday now.”