Andy van der Meyde
Van der Meyde in 2008
|Full name||Andy van der Meyde|
|Date of birth||30 September 1979|
|Place of birth||Arnhem, Netherlands|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|1999–2000||→ Twente (loan)||32||(2)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Born in Arnhem, Gelderland, Van der Meyde signed for AFC Ajax as a youngster, and made his first-team debut aged just 18, helping to a 1–0 win against FC Twente on 12 November 1997. In 1999, in order to gain experience, he was loaned to Twente for one season, and was an undisputed starter for a side that finished sixth in the Eredivisie.
It would be in 2001–02 that Van der Meyde established himself as first-choice at Ajax. After a turbulent start, Ronald Koeman was instated as head coach, and the player became an integral part in the rebuilding of the team, making the right-winger position his own. The campaign ended in huge success as the Amsterdam club conquered the double, with him scoring five times in the league.
In 2002–03 Van der Meyde – playing alongside the likes of youngsters as Mido, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder, Steven Pienaar and Cristian Chivu – scored a career-best 11 goals, while also helping Ajax to the quarterfinals in the UEFA Champions League, netting in a crucial 1–1 away draw against A.S. Roma which certified the team's qualification for the knockout stages.
In the 2003 off-season, 24-year-old Van der Meyde was acquired by Inter Milan from Italy, for £4 million. However, he managed only 14 Serie A appearances in his first season, appearing slightly more in the following campaign.
Van der Meyde scored a spectacular goal against Arsenal on 17 September 2003, in the Champions League group stage 3–0 away win at Highbury, as the Nerazzurri were eventually ousted in the group stages.
After leaving Inter, strong speculation suggested Van der Meyde would return to Ajax, with additional reported interest from French club AS Monaco FC and Tottenham Hotspur in England. However, on 31 August 2005, he agreed a contract with another Premier League team, Everton, for £2 million; on 25 March 2006, in his first Merseyside derby against Liverpool, he received a straight red card for his challenge on Liverpool's Xabi Alonso, in a 1–3 away loss.
In the summer of 2006, Van der Meyde proved once again to be the centre of much speculation regarding his future, having failed to properly settle at Everton and making only ten appearances in his first season thanks to a combination of injuries and rumours of alcoholism. He staunchly denied any such allegations and reaffirmed his commitment in June 2006, stating
"I want to stay, I am desperate to stay. I love it here. Everything suits my game. I'm happy in England and I want to show everyone that I can really play football. If I get the chance next season, I will do it."
Van der Meyde was admitted to hospital in the early hours of 7 August 2006, with breathing problems. It was claimed that his drink had been spiked whilst in a bar in Liverpool. He was fined by Everton for breach of discipline and, to further add to a miserable week, his house was burgled during a friendly with Athletic Bilbao five days later: his Ferrari, Mini Cooper, and dog were amongst the items stolen. The cars and pet dog were later found, although the Ferrari had its windscreen smashed. In March 2007, the player accused manager David Moyes of telling 'downright lies' in regard to his fitness, but apologised afterwards.
In July 2007, Van der Meyde played a full 90 minutes in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. In arguably his most successful pre-season at the club, he went on to complete several friendly matches in an attempt to gain fitness ahead of the new domestic league campaign. However, he further cast a doubt over his Everton future by failing to turn up for a scheduled training session.
On 17 August 2007, Van der Meyde was suspended following a 'breach of club discipline' because he had failed to appear at training, being fined two weeks' wages for a total of £50,000. The player appealed for "understanding from the club and fans" due to the personal situation he was facing, with his five-month-old daughter Dolce not being allowed to leave the hospital since her birth due to illness; following this, he did not make an appearance for the main squad for over a year, being limited to just reserve team football.
Van der Meyde returned to first-team football on 7 December 2008, playing five minutes for an injury-hit Everton side in a 2–3 home defeat to Aston Villa. The following month, he was brought on as a substitute in the FA Cup fourth round replay against Liverpool, providing the assist to Dan Gosling's winning strike in the 118th minute; he was released in June 2009, after his contract expired.
Van der Meyde spent six months unattached before agreeing a short-term deal with PSV Eindhoven in March 2010. On 23 April he made his debut for the club in a 3–0 friendly win over VVV-Venlo, but failed to appear officially during his stint.
In late February 2011, Van der Meyde retired from professional football at the age of 31. However, in December, he returned to action and joined Topklasse amateurs WKE based in Emmen, until the end of the season.
On 19 May 2002, Van der Meyde was handed his debut for Dick Advocaat's Dutch national team against the United States, which he marked with a goal in a 2–0 win. He helped the country reach the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 2004, featuring in four games – all starts – and assisting Ruud van Nistelrooy in the 1–1 group stage draw to Germany, but being overlooked for the last-four match against Portugal.
After the tournament, following Marco van Basten's appointment as national team manager and the emergence of youngsters as Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie and Rafael van der Vaart, Van der Meyde failed to receive another callup, finishing his international career with 17 caps.
In November 2012, following the publication of his biography Geen genade (English: No Mercy), Van der Meyde gave a series of media interviews, including with The Times in England, in which he admitted to a long term series of personal problems: after a difficult first year in Milan he spent a long time on the bench in his second year, and began drinking. Offered the chance to join AS Monaco at the end of the season his wife, who liked to keep animals, rejected the prospect of living in an apartment, so he moved to Everton. Injured upon arriving, he played regularly for a period after regaining fitness, before getting injured against Manchester United; in rehabilitation for six months, after his newly born daughter was hospitalised for an equal period, he again turned to alcohol.
In his second year at Everton, Van der Meyde's wife and daughters returned to the Netherlands to enable his youngest child to have access to hospital treatment and to maintain close ties with family members. Van der Meyde began an affair, which his wife discovered after she paid a private detective to follow his activities; this resultantly lead to his divorce, and also a break-up with his girlfriend.
After his contract with Everton was terminated at the end of the fourth season due to recurring injuries, personal problems, and falling out with manager David Moyes, Van der Meyde remained as a resident of Liverpool for a year. Moving in with a friend he began a downward spiral of drink, excessive gambling and drug taking, including cocaine.
Realising his now depressive state, Van der Meyde agreed with his agent to return to Amsterdam, who negotiated a training agreement with former club Ajax. This allowed him to turn around his life, and regain contact with his ex-wife and daughters.
|Inter Milan||2003–04||Serie A||14||1||4||1||–||7||1||25||3|
|1.||19 May 2002||CMGI Field||United States||1–0||2–0||Friendly|
- Eredivisie: 1997–98, 2001–02
- KNVB Cup: 1997–98, 1998–99, 2001–02
- Johan Cruijff Shield: 2002; Runner-up 1998, 1999
- Thijs Slegers (November 2012). Geen genade (English: No Mercy). Met illustraties. ISBN 9071359646.
- "Former Everton man Andy van der Meyde on drink, drugs and zebras". BBC Sport. 8 January 2012. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
- "Ajax survive Roma siege". UEFA. 19 March 2003. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- "Meyde for success". UEFA. 29 August 2003. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- Van der Meyde's birthday wish; UEFA, 30 September 2003
- "Liverpool 3–1 Everton". BBC Sport. 25 March 2006. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- Van: I want to stay Archived 10 October 2012 at the Wayback Machine; Everton FC, 17 June 2006
- Soccer star's dog and Ferrari stolen; IC Liverpool, 15 August 2006
- Van der Meyde hit by Everton ban; BBC Sport, 17 August 2007
- Everton discipline Van der Meyde; UEFA, 17 August 2007
- Everton star Andy van der Meyde suspended; Liverpool Echo, 18 August 2007
- Jolly, Richard (5 February 2009). "Everton edge Liverpool in Merseyside derby". ESPN Soccernet. Retrieved 5 February 2009.
- "PSV Eindhoven sign former Everton winger Van der Meyde". BBC Sport. 3 March 2010. Archived from the original on 4 March 2010. Retrieved 3 March 2010.
- "Former Everton midfielder Andy Van der Meyde retires". BBC Sport. 25 February 2011. Retrieved 25 February 2011.
- "Oud-international Van der Meyde naar WKE" [Former international Van der Meyde joins WKE] (in Dutch). De Telegraaf. 9 December 2011. Retrieved 10 December 2011.
- "Germany 1–1 Holland". BBC Sport. 15 June 2004. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
- David Prentice (2 November 2012). "Sex, booze and pills". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 8 January 2012.
- Allen, Jamie (1 May 2018). "Andy van der Meyde: short skirts, drugs and alcohol". These Football Times. Retrieved 6 October 2020.
- "Andy van der Meyde". Footballdatabase. Retrieved 21 January 2016.
- "Andy van der Meyde » Club matches". worldfootball.net. Retrieved 17 April 2019.
- "Andy van der Meijde". European Football. Retrieved 21 January 2016.