Regarded as one of the greatest defensive midfielder’s of his generation, Edgar Davids is the latest entrant into the Football-Oranje hall of fame.

davids aStarting his club career with Ajax at the age of 12, Suriname born Davids made his debut with the club in 1991, and became part of one of the greatest side’s of the ninety’s.

Davids actually started as a left winger, but after struggling in the position, and the emergence of Marc Overmars, he was moved to his well known role in the centre of midfield, and shined.

Ajax under Louis van Gaal, with Davids, and Clarence Seedorf in midfield, took Europe by storm, winning the UEFA Cup, Champions League, and three Eredivisie titles in a space of five years.

Van Gaal’s side were thrilling to watch, with such attacking flair, while Davids was the so called, “pitbull” in midfield, who retained possession for the likes of Jari Litmanen, and Seedorf to work their magic.

However, after losing the 1996 Champions League final against Juventus, with Davids missing a penalty in the shoot out, an exodus at Ajax followed. Davids was part of this exodus, and he moved to Italy to join AC Milan.

At the San Siro, Davids broke his leg, and after he recovered failed to break into the first team, making only 12 appearances in his first season, and left the following year for Serie A rivals Juventus, for a fee of £5.3 million.

Six successful seasons followed for Davids in Turin, where he made a name for himself as one of the greatest midfielders in European football, alongside a certain Zinedine Zidane. Three Serie A titles were won by Davids, although a second Champions League eluded the Dutchman, as they lost the 2003 final to ex-club AC Milan.

It was at Juventus, that Davids contracted Glaucoma, and after fears that he may have to retire, the option of wearing the famous goggles was introduced, and it made the midfielder one of the most instantly recognisable players in world football.

In 2004, halfway through the season, Davids was signed on loan by Barcelona, with the club struggling, under new manager Frank Rijkaard. The club eventually finished 2nd in the league, and Davids impressed in the 18 appearances he made.

On his return to Italy after his loan spell, Davids joined Inter Milan on a three year deal, but only played 14 times for the club, before his contract was terminated.He then moved to England with Tottenham Hotspur, where coach Martin Jol wanted him to add a “winning mentality” to his squad. A fans favourite with Spurs, Davids made 31 appearances for the club in his first year, before having a injury hit second year.

Now 33 years old, Davids made a return to Ajax, but could not help them win the title in 2007, when they lost out to PSV on goal difference. After having his leg broken in a pre season friendly, Davids’s appearances were limited, and he left the club to move back to England with Crystal Palace, on a pay per play deal.

Having only made 6 appearances, Davids left, and is currently player coach of Barnet fc, who are currently in the English conference division, after relegation in his first year in charge. Its David’s first club in coaching, and its commendable that he is learning his trade at a lower league side.

Davids was never short of controversy in his career, and with the Dutch national side in 1996 things came to boil, when he was sent home from the European Championships by coach Guus Hiddink. Later Davids was quoted as saying “Hiddink should stop putting his head in some players’ asses.”

Despite this, Davids played a major part for the Dutch side in his career, helping them to the semi-finals of the 1998 World Cup final, and was named in the team of the tournament. In 2000, Davids also helped the Oranje to the semi finals of the European Championships, were they lost in a penalty shoot-out to Italy, and was once again named in the team of the tournament.

A battler in midfield, Davids was scared of no opponent, and is one of the best defensive midfielders to grace the game. Injuries blighted his career at key points, which may have stopped Davids becoming an even more successful player.

The pitbull is now embarking on his managerial career, and he will no doubt be as tenacious, and successful on the sidelines than he was on the pitch.

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