Edgar Davids

Edgar Davids
Image from: freelargeimages.com

Edgar Steven Davids

Current Club: N/A.

Previous Clubs: Barnet, Crystal Palace, Ajax, Tottenham Hotspur, Inter Milan, Juventus, AC Milan, Ajax.

Loan Clubs: Barcelona.

International: Netherlands 74 caps 6 goals.

Trophies Won: UEFA Champions League 1994/95. Serie A 1997/98, 2001/02, 2002/03. Italian Cup 2004/05. Eredivisie 1993/94, 1994/95, 1995/96. Dutch Cap 1992/93, 2006/07. Dutch Super Cup 1996. UEFA Cup 1991/92. Intercontinental Cup 1996.

The 'Pit Bull' was a lot like a cross between N'Golo Kante and Vinnie Jones but with the ball skills and dribbling ability of Eden Hazard. Davids was a street footballer, with the flicks, tricks and skills that are normally associated with the flair players that play up front, but then paired it with the snarling, hard tackling force of the pit bull he was named after. Just 5 foot 7 inches tall yet he was able to inspire fear in the opponents he faced by sheer force of will and his drive to win.

Initially he arrived on the scene with Ajax as a left winger, but the emergence of a certain Marc Overmars saw him moved into central midfield where he excelled and became a 'one-man engine room' in the words of Marcello Lippi. It was when he joined Juventus that he really stood out, building a partnership with Zinedine Zidane that dominated Serie A.

Davids was more than just the bite though he did provide that, he was also adept at running with the ball at pace, driving forward to create opportunities for through balls and to create space to lay the ball off. While his most successful period was at Juve, his short spell on loan with Barcelona was his most influential.

There Davids inspired future greats Xavi and Iniesta to be more forceful in their play, his hussling, harrying style of play taught the pair to press in the way that became a trademark of Barca in later years. In fact his time there is credited with being the catalyst for the domination that followed by the Catalan club. He drove the team on to be more than they were, despite only being there for a few months.

One of his key assets was his versatility, he could play pretty much anywhere, but preferred the left side as he was left footed and possessed the lovely left foot that most left footers (at professional level anyway!) seem to have. He often played left back later in his career, he had pace and the workrate to make that position very much his own, but he was best in the centre of midfield, in the thick of the battle, in the face of the opposition.

For all his quality, he had a tendency to lose his cool, he was very rash and that fighting spirit could often lead to cards, he did pick up rather a lot of those. Too many for sure. Despite all the ability and drive, his most famous feature was the protective glasses he wore after sight-saving eye surgery following damage to his optical nerve while playing for Juve caused glaucoma.

With his long, flowing dreadlocks streaming behind him and the goggles, he had a style that stood out and made him unique. Along with the skills he possessed it was enough to make him an icon and video game cover star.

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