At age six, Wijnaldum developed himself rapidly at Sparta Rotterdam, winning two championship titles in his first two seasons. Soon Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord showed interest in the youngster, but Wijnaldum declined all offers: “I didn’t watch football on TV and I didn’t know any of the first team players of Sparta or any of the top clubs. I only knew the real famous players of Oranje, so the offers didn’t impress me much. I had a good time at Sparta, I wanted to stay.” After playing for Sparta Rotterdam for seven seasons and representing the Netherlands at various youth levels, Wijnaldum decided to accept a new Feyenoord offer. He was convinced playing for Feyenoord was better for his development as a football player and believed in Feyenoord’s vision. At Feyenoord, Wijnaldum joined a successful generation with the likes of Leroy Fer and Luís Pedro. Wijnaldum stood out as an exceptional talent. In January 2007, a few weeks after turning 16, Wijnaldum was invited to the first team’s training camp in Belek, Turkey, by Feyenoord manager Erwin Koeman. On 8 April 2007, Wijnaldum made his official debut in Feyenoord’s starting line-up in the 4–0 Eredivisie home defeat to Groningen. At the age of 16 and 148 days, Wijnaldum became the youngest player ever to play in Feyenoord’s first team and was chosen Feyenoord’s man of the match. On 2 December 2007, Wijnaldum scored his first Eredivisie goal for Feyenoord, against Heracles Almelo in a 6–0 home win. In the 2008–09 season, Wijnaldum made his official European debut. On 18 September 2008, he was named in the starting line-up in the 1–0 UEFA Cup home loss to Kalmar FF. On 2 October 2008, he scored his first European goal for Feyenoord in the return match over Kalmar FF, which resulted in a 1–2 win and a place in the competition’s group stage. On 6 March 2009, Wijnaldum signed a new contract at Feyenoord which would have kept him at De Kuip until summer 2012. On 27 February 2011, he helped his struggling Feyenoord to a 5–1 demolition of Groningen, scoring four goals. He scored two goals from open play in the first half and two more from the penalty spot to add his total for the season to eight goals.