A CAREER IN KITS: EDGAR DAVIDS
Edgar Davids was dubbed ‘The Pitbull’ by his then coach Louis van Gaal - but the truth is the epithet didn’t go nearly far enough in describing one of the craziest, most brilliant bastards the game has ever seen.
Davids, just 18 on his professional debut for boyhood club Ajax, made more than 100 appearances during a golden period for the Amsterdam giants, winning three Eredivisie titles, the 1992 UEFA Cup and, most famously, the 1995 Champions League.
Buy the Ajax 1994/95 away shirt here.
In summer 1996, AC Milan took Davids and his magnificent dreadlocks to Italy - but it went horribly wrong at the San Siro, as the young Dutchman struggled with injuries and failed to establish himself in a strong Rossoneri side. He did famously hospitalise two men who were unwise enough to utter a racist insult following an altercation at a set of traffic lights though.
In December 1997, Juventus paid £5.3 million to take Davids to the delle Alpi, pairing him with a certain Zinedine Zidane in a formidable team that would go on to win Serie A titles in 1998, 2002 and 2003. Marcelo Lippi described Davids as ‘my one-man engine room’.
Buy the Juventus 1997/98 home shirt here.
Davids joined Barcelona on loan in January 2004 and, while he only played 18 times for the Catalans, he is credited for salvaging their season and laying the foundations for the club’s imminent dominance of domestic and European football.
Buy the Barcelona 2003/04 home shirt here.
Inter was his next destination, but his contract was terminated after only a single season and just 14 appearances. But their loss was Tottenham’s gain, as Martin Jol brought Davids to White Hart Lane where his work rate, devotion to the cause and his general madness/shithousery won him the hearts of the Spurs faithful.
Following a second stint with Ajax, Davids returned to England to play for Crystal Palace (who then boasted a gorgeous sash shirt) - but in three months at Selhurst Park he managed only six appearances before a chaotic spell as Barnet player-manager.
Aside from a pretty special club career, Davids also made 74 appearances for Holland (it would have been more had he not been kicked out of the Dutch Euro ‘96 camp for accusing manager Guus Hiddink of ‘putting his head in some players’ arses’.)
Buy the Holland 1998 (prototype) home shirt here.
What a guy.
Imagery subject to copyright.
Written by Josh Warwick