He made his debut for Everton on 2 December 1989 against Coventry City, in a 2–0 home win. During his career at Everton, he made 41 league appearances from the outset and a further 10 as a substitute, scoring only one goal. Atteveld is one of only four Dutchmen to have played for Everton, the others being Andy van der Meyde, Johnny Heitinga and Royston Drenthe.
Atteveld was one of the first foreigners to get a regular first-team place in the Everton squad although he struggled to make a name of himself in the English game. Atteveld is remembered by Evertonians for stripping down to his underpants during an end of season lap of honour and throwing his kit into the crowd.
He joined West Ham United on loan, and became the first Dutch player in the club's history when he made played his only league game for the club on 22 February 1992, a 2–1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday. He made two FA Cup appearances for the club, for the Fifth Round games against Sunderland on 15 February and 26 February.
Atteveld worked as an assistant manager for Roda in 2006, until 2007, where he was promoted to manager. However, due to poor performances, he was sacked on 7 October 2008. On 17 April 2009, he replaced André Wetzel as the new ADO Den Haag manager.