- Associated Press - Wednesday, November 10, 2010

MILAN (AP) - Inter Milan playmaker Wesley Sneijder has been diagnosed with anemia after passing out at halftime of Saturday’s Serie A match against Brescia.

Sneijder guided Inter to the Italian league and cup titles last season along with the European Champions League title, and then led the Netherlands to the World Cup final. After that, he got married.

Sneijder says he is 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 traveled to the Netherlands for a second opinion. The conclusion was that I have anemia and my whole body is exhausted.”

Inter’s press office had no comment, although Sneijder was left off the roster for Wednesday’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 Jan. 10.

Sneijder has struggled so far this season, and his illness is only the latest in a series of medical problems for Inter.

Defender Walter Samuel will likely miss the rest of the season after damaging ligaments in his right knee against Brescia and right back Maicon is also out after straining a muscle in his left thigh.

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