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Edgar Davids

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Collection: 1973 Births, 1998 Fifa World Cup Players, A.C. Milan Players, Afc Ajax Players, Barnet F.C. Managers, Barnet F.C. Players, Crystal Palace F.C. Players, Doping Cases in Association Football, Dutch Expatriate Footballers, Dutch Expatriates in Italy, Dutch Expatriates in Spain, Dutch Footballers, Dutch Jews, Dutch People of Surinamese Descent, Dutch Sportspeople in Doping Cases, Eredivisie Players, Expatriate Football Managers in England, Expatriate Footballers in England, Expatriate Footballers in Italy, Expatriate Footballers in Spain, Fc Barcelona Players, Fifa 100, Inter Milan Players, Jewish Sportspeople, Juventus F.C. Players, La Liga Players, Living People, National League (English Football) Managers, National League (English Football) Players, Netherlands International Footballers, Netherlands Under-21 International Footballers, People from Paramaribo, Player-Coaches, Premier League Players, Serie a Players, Surinamese Emigrants to the Netherlands, Surinamese Jews, Surinamese People of Jewish Descent, The Football League Managers, The Football League Players, Tottenham Hotspur F.C. Players, Uefa Euro 1996 Players, Uefa Euro 2000 Players, Uefa Euro 2004 Players
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Edgar Davids

Edgar Davids
Personal information
Full name Edgar Steven Davids
Date of birth (1973-03-13) 13 March 1973
Place of birth Paramaribo, Suriname
Height 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in)[1]
Playing position Defensive midfielder
Youth career
1985–1991 Ajax
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1991–1996 Ajax 106 (20)
1996–1997 Milan 19 (0)
1997–2004 Juventus 159 (8)
2004 Barcelona (loan) 18 (1)
2004–2005 Internazionale 14 (0)
2005–2007 Tottenham Hotspur 40 (1)
2007–2008 Ajax 25 (1)
2010 Crystal Palace 6 (0)
2012–2014 Barnet 36 (1)
Total 423 (32)
National team
1992–1994 Netherlands U-21 8 (1)
1994–2005 Netherlands 74 (6)
Teams managed
2012 Barnet (joint)
2012–2014 Barnet

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Edgar Steven Davids (Dutch pronunciation: ; born 13 March 1973) is a Surinamese-born Dutch former professional footballer. After beginning his career with Ajax, he subsequently played in Italy for Milan and Juventus before a loan spell with Barcelona. He went on to play for Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspur before returning to Ajax. Having struggled with injuries for two years, Davids returned to competitive football during a brief spell with Crystal Palace before retiring at the age of 37. In 2012, he was appointed player-manager at English League Two club Barnet. He resigned by mutual agreement as manager in January 2014. He was capped 74 times by the Netherlands at international level, scoring six goals, and represented his country at the FIFA World Cup (once) and the UEFA European Football Championship (three times).

Davids was known for standing out on the football field for his dreadlocked hair and the protective goggles he wore due to glaucoma.[2][3][4] A combative, energetic, and creative midfielder,[5] Davids was nicknamed "the Pitbull" by Louis van Gaal because of his marking ability and his aggressive tackling.[6][7] Throughout his career, Davids was renowned for his outstanding technique and ball skills, as well as his passing ability and vision.[6] He was also known for his pace, strength, power, stamina, tactical intelligence, versatility and tenacity, as well as his ability to read the game, which, along with his technical ability, allowed him to be deployed in several midfield positions, including as a left midfielder, or as a central, box-to-box, or defensive midfielder.[8][9] He was one of the players chosen by Pelé to feature in the FIFA 100, his list of the world's greatest living footballers.


  • Early life 1
  • Club career 2
    • Ajax 2.1
    • A.C. Milan and Juventus 2.2
    • Barcelona 2.3
    • Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspur 2.4
    • Return to Ajax 2.5
    • Crystal Palace 2.6
  • International career 3
  • Media 4
  • Coaching career 5
    • Ajax 5.1
    • Barnet 5.2
  • Personal life 6
  • Honours 7
    • Club 7.1
    • International 7.2
    • Individual 7.3
  • Playing statistics 8
    • Club 8.1
    • International 8.2
    • International goals 8.3
  • Managerial statistics 9
  • References 10
  • External links 11

Early life

Davids was born in Suriname to an Afro-Surinamese father and a mother of part Jewish descent. They later moved to the Netherlands when Davids was an infant.[10] His cousin Lorenzo is also a footballer.[11][12]

Club career


After being rejected on two previous occasions by the club,[13] Davids started his career at the age of 12 with AFC Ajax.[14] He made his first team debut on 6 September 1991 in a 5–1 home win over RKC Waalwijk. He helped the Amsterdam club to three domestic Eredivisie titles, as well as continental success with the 1992 UEFA Cup and the 1995 UEFA Champions League. In the 1996 UEFA Champions League Final, he missed Ajax's first penalty in the shoot-out, which they ultimately lost to Juventus. While at Ajax, he was nicknamed "The Pitbull" by Ajax manager Louis van Gaal due to his fierce style of play and bite in the midfield.

A.C. Milan and Juventus

Juventus's Davids clashing with A.C. Milan's Gennaro Gattuso during the final of the UEFA Champions League on 28 May 2003

At the start of the 1996–97 season Davids moved to Italy to play for A.C. Milan. After an unsuccessful spell where he failed to establish himself in the first team he moved on to league rivals Juventus in December 1997 for a £5.3 million transfer fee, where he soon became a permanent first team member in the midfield, usually playing on the left flank or in the centre, as a defensive midfielder.[15] Six successful years in Turin followed, with Davids helping the side to the Serie A title in 1998, 2002 and 2003, as well as two Italian Supercups, and the Intertoto Cup. Juventus manager Marcello Lippi once described him as "my one-man engine room."

He was often inspirational in Europe, playing 15 times as the club made it all the way to the 2002–03 UEFA Champions League final before losing to A.C. Milan on penalties. He had also previously managed to reach the Champions League Final with Juventus in 1998, followed by a semi-final finish during the 1998-99 season, as well as reaching the 2002 Coppa Italia Final.


Davids joined Barcelona on loan in January 2004 from Juventus. Joining midway through a season where the club was struggling in midtable and recently appointed manager Frank Rijkaard was under considerable pressure, Davids led Barça's successful resurgence of form which saw them finishing second to Valencia in the league.[16] Davids' arrival has been cited as the catalyst for the Catalan club's dominance of Spanish and European football during the mid-to-late 2000s (decade), with Rijkaard winning La Liga the following season (after five years without winning the league title) and a La Liga and Champions League double in 2005–06.[17]

Inter Milan and Tottenham Hotspur

In the summer of 2004, he permanently moved on to Italian club Inter Milan on a three-year contract.[18] When Inter Milan terminated the remaining years of his contract in August 2005, he moved to England on a free transfer to play for Tottenham Hotspur.[19] He had a successful stay at Tottenham and instantly became a fan's favourite. His first and only goal was in a 2–1 away win against Wigan Athletic.[20] Davids played for Spurs in the 2005–06 and the 2006–07 seasons, with the club finishing fifth in both seasons.

Return to Ajax

Davids signed once more for Ajax on 28 January 2007[21] and played his first match against Ajax's rivals Feyenoord on 4 February.[22] After the mid-season switch, Davids proved his value for the Ajax team again. He was one of the key midfielders in the run for the Dutch championship that was lost on one single goal to PSV on the final day of the league. He also played a major role in Ajax's cup campaign. He secured the KNVB Cup for Ajax by scoring the final penalty in a thrilling penalty shoot-out against AZ. Prior to the start of the 2007–08 season, Davids' leg was broken in a pre-season friendly against Go Ahead Eagles, sidelining him for around three months.[23] In May 2008, Davids said he would leave Ajax when his contract expired on 30 June.[24]

Davids embraces Ajax team manager David Endt during his second period at Ajax, with Thomas Vermaelen and Gregory van der Wiel behind.

He played against Los Angeles Galaxy on 6 December 2008 in an exhibition match held at Mount Smart Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand, as part of an Oceania XI All-Star team, despite the fact he is not from Oceania and has never played for an Oceanic club or national team.[25] Davids was in contract negotiations with English Championship club Leicester City from 22 October 2009.[26] However, he failed to make a decision for over a week and the club withdrew their offer on 30 October.[26]

Crystal Palace

On 20 August 2010, Davids agreed a pay-as-you-play deal with English Championship club Crystal Palace. He made his debut on 24 August 2010 at left-back in the Second Round of the League Cup against Portsmouth.[27] On 8 November 2010, he announced his departure from the club, stating it was "one of the greatest experiences of my life".[28]

International career

Davids (wearing No.8) in the Dutch wall, facing a free kick against Sweden at Euro 2004.

Davids was an integral part of the Dutch national team since his debut on 20 April 1994 in Tilburg against Ireland (0–1),[29] though he has not won any major tournaments for the Oranje.

During UEFA Euro 1996, he was sent home by then manager Guus Hiddink for saying in a radio interview: "Hiddink should stop putting his head in some players' asses."

Nonetheless, Davids remained appreciated by Hiddink, who included him in the Dutch squad for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France. Davids' most notable performance for the national team came in the second round match against FR Yugoslavia. He scored the winning goal in the last minute of the game and ensured that the Dutch team went through to the next round to meet Argentina. The Netherlands eventually finished 4th overall and Davids was named to the official FIFA "Team of the Tournament".

In 1999, Davids began wearing protective glasses, following surgery in his right eye caused by glaucoma,[30] which developed in 1995 following eye injuries. Davids first wore them on September 4, 1999 in a friendly match against Belgium.[31] On 17 May 2001, Davids was suspended by FIFA when he tested positive for the banned anabolic steroid, nandrolone.[32]

Davids played in the UEFA Euro 2000 when he was named for the UEFA "Team of the Tournament". The Netherlands reached the semi-finals and played against Italy in a thrilling game that ended up being decided in Italy's favour with a penalty shootout.

During the Netherlands' UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying matches, Davids scored the Netherlands' first qualifying goal in their opening 3–0 victory against Belarus and subsequently bossed the midfield in five of the remaining seven Group 3 fixtures and both legs of the play-off victory against Scotland.

After Euro 2004, new national team coach Marco van Basten appointed Davids as captain of the team. However, lack of first team football at his club Inter meant Davids also lost his place in the national team in October 2004, thus losing the captain's armband in the process, which was later handed to Edwin van der Sar. At the latter stages of the qualifying series for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in October 2005, he was re-called back into the national team, though not as captain. He fell out of the picture again shortly after, thereby missing out on the Dutch squad for the World Cup.


Davids has appeared in commercials for the American sportswear company the beautiful game" against a team of demonic warriors, before it culminates with Cantona striking the ball and destroying evil.[33]

In a global Nike advertising campaign in the run-up to the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, Davids starred in a "Secret Tournament" commercial (branded by Nike as "Scorpion KO") directed by Terry Gilliam, appearing alongside football players such as Thierry Henry, Ronaldinho, Francesco Totti, Luís Figo and Japanese star Hidetoshi Nakata, with former player Eric Cantona the tournament "referee".[35][36]

Davids features in EA Sports' FIFA video game series, and was selected to appear on the cover of FIFA Football 2003 alongside Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs and Brazilian international Roberto Carlos.[37]

Coaching career


In June 2011, Davids was elected to the new supervisory board at Ajax alongside Johan Cruyff.[38][39][40]


Davids playing for Barnet in 2013

Since 2010, Davids had been living in North London with his partner and had been participating in street football as well as managing Sunday league amateur side Brixton United.[41] On 11 October 2012, Davids joined League Two side Barnet in a player-manager role, alongside Mark Robson. The next day, on his managerial debut for Barnet, his side lost 4–1 at Underhill to Plymouth Argyle which Davids had left himself out of the squad for this League Two game.[42] They followed this up with a 4–0 home win over Northampton Town where Davids played the full match, captaining the team and being voted Man of the Match.[43] In November he started against Morecambe which Barnet lost 4–1. Near the end of December 2012 following the departure of Robson, Davids took charge of the club by himself.[44] Davids scored his first goal for Barnet in February 2013 in a 2–0 home victory over Southend United.[45]

In March 2013, on the return journey from a defeat at Accrington Stanley, Davids sent the Barnet team coach back to pick up 36 supporters whose coach had broken down on the motorway and take them to the next service station.[46]

Despite initially guiding Barnet off the foot of League Two, and lifting them out of the relegation zone, Barnet dropped back into the bottom two on the final day of the 2012–13 season, following a defeat to Northampton Town, and were relegated out of the Football League at the expense of AFC Wimbledon who were able to escape by beating Fleetwood Town. On 21 May 2013, it was announced that Davids would remain in charge of Barnet for the club's 2013–14 Conference Premier season.[47] In July 2013, Davids announced his decision to wear the number 1 shirt for the 2013–14 season, a shirt number traditionally worn by goalkeepers, saying that he intends to "set a trend" of midfielders wearing the number 1 shirt.[48]

Discipline was a major problem for Davids in the 2013-14 season. He was booked in each of the first eight league games he played, and he was sent off three times in those first eight games. There was also controversy when it emerged that he would not attend away games that required an overnight stay, leaving assistant manager Ulrich Landvreugd to take charge.[49] In December 2013, Davids considered retiring from football after being sent off for the third time in the season in Barnet's 2-1 defeat by Salisbury City.[50]

Davids resigned from his post as manager on 18 January 2014.[51]

In June 2014, Southern Counties East Football League side Greenwich Borough announced they were "in advanced talks" with Davids, with chairman Perry Skinner stating that he was "70% sure he'll come on board".[52] The following month it was announced the club's attempt to sign Davids had been unsuccessful.[53]

Personal life

He was engaged to fashion designer Olcay Gulsen.[54] In 1999 Davids started his own Street Soccer fashion label called Monta Soccer.[55] It offers urban style clothes for men, women, and children around the world. It currently has multiple fashion lines. The Monta Sports,[56] The Monta Studio[57] and Monta Juniors.[58]



Inter Milan




Playing statistics


Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Netherlands League KNVB Cup League Cup Europe Total
1991–92 Ajax Eredivisie 13 2 - - 3 0 16 2
1992–93 28 4 5 5 - 8 3 42 12
1993–94 15 2 1 0 - 5 2 21 4
1994–95 22 5 2 0 - 7 0 31 5
1995–96 28 7 6 0 - 11 1 45 8
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
1996–97 A.C. Milan Serie A 15 0 - - 4 1 19 1
1997–98 4 0 6 1 - - 10 1
1997–98 Juventus Serie A 20 1 9 1 - 5 0 34 2
1998–99 27 2 6 1 - 9 0 42 3
1999–2000 27 1 11 2 - 4 0 42 3
2000–01 26 1 4 0 - 5 0 35 1
2001–02 28 2 2 0 - 9 0 39 2
2002–03 26 1 - - 15 1 41 2
2003–04 5 0 - - 5 0 10 0
Spain League Copa del Rey Copa de la Liga Europe Total
2003–04 Barcelona La Liga 18 1 - - - 18 1
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
2004–05 Inter Milan Serie A 14 0 4 - 5 0 19 0
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2005–06 Tottenham Hotspur Premier League 31 1 - - - 31 1
2006–07 9 0 - 3 0 1 0 13 0
Netherlands League KNVB Cup League Cup Europe Total
2006–07 Ajax Eredivisie 11 1 3 0 - - 15 1
2007–08 14 0 - - - 18 0
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2010–11 Crystal Palace Championship 6 0 - 1 0 - 7 0
2012–13 Barnet League Two 28 1 1 0 0 0 - 29 1
2013–14 Conference Premier 8 0 1 0 0 0 - 9 0
Country Netherlands 131 21 12 0 - 14 1 162 22
Italy 192 8 38 5 - 56 2 286 15
Spain 18 1 - - - 18 1
England 69 2 1 0 4 0 1 0 75 2
Total 410 32 51 5 4 0 71 3 541 40


Netherlands national team
Year Apps Goals
1994 1 0
1995 4 0
1996 4 0
1997 0 0
1998 11 1
1999 6 3
2000 12 0
2001 6 0
2002 6 2
2003 9 0
2004 14 0
2005 1 0
Total 74 6

International goals

Scores and results list Netherlands' goal tally first.[60]
Goal Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 29 June 1998 Stadium Municipal, Toulouse, France FR Yugoslavia
1998 FIFA World Cup
2. 31 March 1999 Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands  Argentina
3. 4 September 1999 De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands  Belgium
5. 21 August 2002 Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo, Norway  Norway
6. 7 September 2002 Philips Stadion, Eindhoven, Netherlands  Belarus
UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying

Managerial statistics

As of 18 January 2014[61]
Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Barnet 11 October 2012 18 January 2014 68 25 18 25 36.76


  1. ^ "Player Profile". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  2. ^ "Goggles are Davids' most glaring feature". Soccer Times. Retrieved 19 December 2008. 
  3. ^ "Dedicated followers of fashion".  
  4. ^ Crook, Alex (25 August 2010). "Portsmouth 1 Crystal Palace 1 (AET: 4–3 on penalties): Edgar Davids' Eagles debut ends in shoot-out agony".  
  5. ^ "Defoe excited by Davids signing".  
  6. ^ a b "Gli eroi in bianconero: Edgar DAVIDS". Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  7. ^ "Davids: Dutch can go all the way".  
  8. ^ "MasterCard All-Star Team of the 1998 World Cup". FIFA. 10 July 1998. Retrieved 23 April 2015. 
  9. ^ "Euro 2000 Profiles; Edgard Davids". Retrieved 11 September 2014. 
  10. ^ Assayeg, Ophira (20 February 2011). איווניר בודק אפשרות לצרף את אגר דווידס [Ivanir Is Checking Possibility Of Signing Edgar Davids Hej] (in Hebrew). Retrieved 20 February 2011. 
  11. ^ van Leeuwen, Gerrit. "Davids' family values".  
  12. ^ Ruta, Alessandro (9 September 2011). "Leverkusen, tutto facile E si ritrova in testa".  
  13. ^ Kuper, Simon (28 October 2001). "Profile: Edgar Davids: Raging pitbull". Scotland on Sunday (Scotsman Publications). p. 8. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  14. ^ Liew, Jonathan (6 November 2012). "Manchester City v Ajax: Dutch master Edgar Davids puts work ethic down to Amsterdam's conveyor belt of players". The Telegraph (London). Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  15. ^ David v Goliath?
  16. ^ Lowe, Sid (1 March 2004). "Davids drags Barca back to life". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  17. ^ Lowe, Sid (2010-01-29). "The Joy of Six: game-breaking transfers during the season". London: Guardian. Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  18. ^, Edgar Davids joins Inter, 11 July 2004
  19. ^ [3], Tottenham complete Davids signing , 3 August 2005
  20. ^ "Wigan 1–2 Tottenham". BBC News. 26 September 2005. 
  21. ^, Davids signs for Ajax. 28 January 2007
  22. ^ "Tactical Formation". Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  23. ^ "Ajax midfielder Davids breaks leg". BBC Sport. 22 July 2007. 
  24. ^ Herbert, Ian (21 May 2008). "Transfer news and speculation, 21 May". Independent, The (London). Retrieved 2013-10-13. 
  25. ^ Edgar Davids joins Oceania All Stars for Galaxy match
  26. ^ a b "Leicester call off Davids pursuit". BBC Sport. 2009-10-30. Retrieved 2009-10-30. 
  27. ^ "Edgar Davids Agrees Terms". Crystal Palace F.C. 21 August 2010. Archived from the original on 8 February 2012. Retrieved 13 October 2013. 
  28. ^ "Davids calls time on Palace". Sky Sports. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 4 December 2010. 
  29. ^ a b
  30. ^
  31. ^
  32. ^ "Davids and Couto hit with FIFA bans". London: Telegraph. 2001-05-31. Retrieved 2009-10-09. 
  33. ^ a b Jackson, Steven J. (10 Nov 2004). Sport, Culture and Advertising: Identities, Commodities and the Politics of Representation. Routledge. p. 186. 
  34. ^ "Nike and Maven Networks Introduce JogaTV". Nikego (Nike). 17 April 2006. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  35. ^ "A lighter shoe, cooler kits, a faster ball, a Secret Tournament – every touch counts". NikeBiz (Nike). Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  36. ^ Cozens, Claire (3 April 2002). "Cantona hosts World Cup with a difference". The Guardian (Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  37. ^ "FIFA 2003 release date announced". ESPN. Retrieved 18 February 2015
  38. ^ "Legendary duo join Ajax board".  
  39. ^ "Legendary duo on Ajax board".  
  40. ^ "Update: Cruijff na 23 jaar terug in officiële functie bij Ajax" (in Dutch). Voetbalzone. 25 July 2011. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 
  41. ^ "Davids reveals football plans". Sky Sports. 12 October 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  42. ^ Nakrani, Sachin (11 October 2012). "Edgar Davids becomes joint-head coach at League Two strugglers Barnet". The Guardian (Guardian News and Media). Retrieved 11 October 2012. 
  43. ^ "Barnet 4 - 0 Northampton". BBC Sport. Retrieved 19 October 2012. 
  44. ^ "Edgar Davids in charge at Barnet after Mark Robson departs". BBC Sport. 28 December 2012. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  45. ^ "Barnet 2-0 Southend". BBC Sport. Retrieved 27 February 2013. 
  46. ^ Restall, James (18 March 2013). "Former Champions League winner Edgar Davids saves the day after Barnet's fans are stranded following defeat". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 24 May 2014. 
  47. ^ Sky Sports 
  48. ^
  49. ^ Edgar Davids refuses to attend away games
  50. ^ "Edgar Davids: Barnet boss may stop playing after third red card". BBC Sport. 28 December 2013. Retrieved 30 December 2013. 
  51. ^ "EDGAR DAVIDS LEAVES BARNET FC". BARNET FC. 18 January 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2014. 
  52. ^ Edgar Davids in advanced talks
  53. ^ Gary Alexander signs for Borough
  54. ^ "Olcay Gulsen en Edgar Davids gaan trouwen".  
  55. ^
  56. ^
  57. ^
  58. ^
  59. ^ Edgar Davids at
  60. ^ [4]
  61. ^ "Edgar Davids Managerial statistics". 13 August 2015. Retrieved 28 September 2015. 

External links

  • Edgar Davids – FIFA competition record
  • Edgar Davids career statistics at Soccerbase
  • Voetbal International profile
  • (Dutch) KNVB national team profile
  • FootballDatabase career profile and stats
  • Edgar Davids profile and stats at Wereld van Oranje (Dutch)
  • Profile at
  • Edgar Davids his fashion label Monta Street Soccer
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Frank de Boer
Netherlands captain
Succeeded by
Edwin van der Sar
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