|Full name||Edson René Braafheid|
|Date of birth||8 April 1983|
|Place of birth||Paramaribo, Suriname|
|Height||1.76 m (5 ft 9 in)|
|Playing position||Left back|
|2010||→ Celtic (loan)||10||(0)|
|2012–2013||→ Twente (loan)||28||(1)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 3 June 2015 (UTC).
Braafheid started his career with Eredivisie side Utrecht in 2003, before moving on to FC Twente in 2007 on a free transfer. He was signed by German Bundesliga club Bayern Munich in 2009 for €2 million. After failing to break into the team during the first half of the season Braafheid moved on loan to Scottish Premier League club Celtic, in order to increase his chances of playing in the 2010 FIFA World Cup with Holland. After a few appearances at the start of the 2011–12 season for Bayern, Braafheid moved to fellow Bundesliga club Hoffenheim.
Braafheid has played for the U-21 and full Netherlands team. Braafheid was called up to the Netherlands squad for the 2008 Summer Olympics, however, due to Twente's European matches early in the season he couldn't go. He was also called up to the squad for the 2010 World Cup and made a substitute appearance in the final.
Braafheid came to Twente on a free transfer after his contract with Utrecht expired; he was a talented left back, but Braafheid impressed friend and foe when playing for Twente as a strong, sturdy central defender instead of his former position. He kept talented central defender Ramon Zomer out of the Twente squad ever since he made the position his own. Former Twente coach Fred Rutten is to thank for that, turning Braafheid from a noticeably talented back to an impressive central defender, despite his mediate height.
Braafheid joined Bayern Munich for the 2009–10 season after the German club and Twente agreed on a €2 million transfer deal on 11 June 2009. He was not able to secure himself a place in the starting squad, however, during the first half of the season, he asked for a transfer in order to have a chance of being nominated for the Dutch 2010 World Cup team.
Braafheid made his debut for Celtic on 7 February 2010 in a 4–2 victory over Dunfermline Athletic in the Scottish Cup. He failed to make an impression afterwards, and played in several draws and defeats in crucial games for Celtic. He was finally dropped from the first team following the sacking of Tony Mowbray on 25 March 2010.
After Braafheid made only three appearances in the first leg of the new season, he moved to fellow Bundesliga side 1899 Hoffenheim on 27 January, following teammate David Alaba. On 5 February 2011, Braafheid made his debut for the team in the 3–2 home win against 1. FC Kaiserslautern, but was sent off only six minutes after coming on as a substitute for Vedad Ibišević.
Returning from a one-season loan spell at FC Twente and despite his contract running until June 2014, Braafheid was no longer part of Hoffenheim's Bundesliga squad for the 2013-14 campaign. His former shirt number 28 was assigned to Alexander Stolz. After the summer transfer window had closed, he started to participate in the U23 training sessions.
On 1 August 2014, S.S. Lazio announced that they had signed Braafheid on a free transfer.
In a column in early 2008, critic Hugo Borst had named Braafheid as a true defender, and stated he should have been in the Dutch squad for Euro 2008 in Austria and Switzerland under manager Marco van Basten. Dutch fans heavily criticised the defence after Jaap Stam, Frank de Boer, and other highly rated defenders said goodbye to the Oranje shirt. Even despite the defenders since then continued to concede very few goals in the post-Stam era, defence was considered as the greatest weakness. On 11 February 2009, Braafheid made his debut for the Dutch national team against Tunisia.
2008 Summer Olympics
In early summer of 2008, Braafheid was selected for the Dutch Olympic Squad going to Beijing, along with fellow Twente defender Rob Wielaert, as one of the three possible dispensation players. But as Twente qualified for UEFA Champions League football in play-offs by beating Ajax, Braafheid and Wielaert were no longer allowed to go, as their Champions League matches were early in the season.
2010 World Cup
Braafheid was included in the preliminary squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. On 27 May 2010, Netherlands manager Bert van Marwijk announced that the player would be part of the final squad of 23 competing in South Africa. Braafheid was brought onto the pitch for Giovanni van Bronckhorst in the World Cup final just before the end of the first prolongation. Near the end of second prolongation he received an accidental volley that hit the back of his head. Luckily, the ball fell right into the arms of the Dutch keeper Maarten Stekelenburg. The Netherlands went on to lose the match, thus making them the runners up for a third time in a World Cup final. Braafheid and the rest of his team were rewarded with a silver medal.
- As of 13 June 2013
- "FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010 – List of Players" (PDF). Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA). Retrieved 8 June 2013.
- "Celtic confirm Braafheid signing". STV Sport. 1 February 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
- "Tactical Formation". Football-Lineups.com. Retrieved 14 February 2007.
- "Bayern sign Braafheid". FIFA. 11 June 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
- "Briefs...". The International News. 11 June 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009.[dead link]
- "Edson Braafheid". soccernet. Retrieved 19 June 2010.
- "Braafheid in deadline day switch to Celtic". FC Bayern Munich official website. 1 February 2010. Retrieved 1 February 2010.
- "1899 verpflichtet Braafheid" [1899 sign Braafheid] (in German). DFL. 27 January 2011. Retrieved 27 January 2011.
- "Gisdol plant weiter ohne Wiese" (in German). Sport1. 26 September 2013. Retrieved 1 October 2013.
- "Comunicato" (in Italian). S.S. Lazio. 1 August 2014. Retrieved 1 August 2014.
- "Van Marwijk trims Dutch squad to 27". AFP. 15 May 2010. Retrieved 18 May 2010.
- "Holland coach Bert van Marwijk finalises World Cup squad". The Guardian. Press Association. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 27 May 2010.