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Spotlight on Edgar Davids

August 25 2010

Edgar Davids

Edgar Davids

Crystal Palace again stole the headlines after Holland legend Edgar Davids made his first appearance for the club.

The 37-year-old, who has agreed a one-year pay-as-you play deal, impressed in the left-back role in Palace's Carling Cup defeat at Portsmouth on Tuesday night.

Davids has 65 caps for his country and is the biggest name to have signed for the Eagles, having adorned the shirts of European giants Inter Milan, AC Milan, Juventus, Barcelona and Ajax where he won the Champions League.

With his dreadlocked hair and protective eye goggles due to acute glaucoma, Davids - nicknamed "the Pitbull" for his combative style of play - is one of the biggest icons in world football.

He won a clutch of silverware while at first side Ajax, playing an integral part in helping the club win three Dutch titles, the UEFA Cup, the 1995 Champions League and runners-up a year later.

Never shy to speak his mind, Davids was sent home from Euro 96 for criticising Holland coach Guus Hiddink. "Hiddink must take his head out of player's asses, so he can see better," he said.

He secured a big move to AC Milan at the start of the 1996/97 campaign, but joined rivals Juventus in December 1997 after failing to establish himself in the first team.

Inter's loss was Juve's gain as the Pitbull won the Serie A title in 1998 and played in the World Cup as Holland finished fourth. He earned a new nickname "the Piranha" but his career hit a low point when he tested positive for nandrolone and was banned in 2001.

He returned to the Juve team to win the 2002 Serie A crown and again a year later before making another Champions League Final appearance in 2003. Juventus coach Marcello Lippi once described him as "my one-man engine room".

Davids had a loan spell with a struggling Barcelona side in January 2004 and inspired the Catalan club to second place in La Liga.

He signed for Inter in the summer of 2004 but was only there for a season before the lure of the Premier League and Tottenham was too good an opportunity to turn down.

Helping Spurs to fifth place in his first season, Davids returned home to Ajax in January 2007 and they won the Dutch Cup after narrowly missing out on the title.

A leg injury sustained in a pre-season friendly against Go Ahead Eagles, hampered his career and Davids was released.

Although he has been without a club for the last two years, Davids maintained his fitness levels by training with Ajax - the team he joined at the age of five.

He enjoyed his time in London while at Spurs so much, that he decided to make a return to the capital where he still has a property and shocked the football world by signing for Palace.

Davids may be in the twilight of his career, but his arrival has given everyone involved with Palace a massive lift.

The most decorated player to have turned out for the Eagles could prove to be a real inspiration to George Burley's squad. Winning promotion with the Eagles would be a fitting finale to a glittering career.


Ajax 1991-96 - 106 apps, 20 goals

AC Milan 1996-97 - 15 apps

Juventus 1997-04 - 178 apps, 9 goals

Barcelona 2004 - 18 apps, 1goal

Inter 2004-05 - 18 apps

Tottenham 2005-07 - 44 apps, 1 goal

Ajax 2007-08 - 33 apps, 1 goal

Palace 2010-



Eredivisie: 1993-94, 1994-95, 1995-96

Dutch KNVB Cup: 1992-93, 2006-07

Johan Cruijff-schaal: 1993, 1994, 1995, 2007

UEFA Champions League: 1994-95

UEFA Cup: 1991-92

UEFA Super Cup: 1995

Intercontinental Cup: 1995


Serie A: 1997-98, 2001-02, 2002-03

Supercoppa Italiana: 2001-02, 2002-03


Coppa Italia: 2004-05

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