Witschge in 2013
|Full name||Richard Peter Witschge|
|Date of birth||20 September 1969|
|Place of birth||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|Height||1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)|
|1995||→ Blackburn (loan)||1||(0)|
|2001–2002||→ Alavés (loan)||26||(1)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Richard Peter Witschge (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈriʃɑrt ˈʋɪtsxə]; born 20 September 1969) is a Dutch retired footballer who played as a defensive midfielder. He was known for his technique and passing ability.
In an 18-year professional career he played mainly for Ajax, but also represented, amongst other teams, Barcelona. He amassed Eredivisie totals of 226 games and 15 goals, over the course of 11 seasons.
Witschge was born in Amsterdam, Noord-Holland. A product of local AFC Ajax's prolific youth ranks, he first appeared in the Eredivisie on 26 October 1986, at only 17, and scored his first league goal fairly a year after. His older brother Rob was already playing there.
After being established in the first team, Witschge joined Johan Cruyff's FC Barcelona, being fairly played as the Catalans won back-to-back La Liga championships. He made his debut in the competition on 14 September 1991, playing the full 90 minutes in a 3–1 home win against Real Zaragoza.
Subsequently, Witschge represented FC Girondins de Bordeaux, Blackburn Rovers (on loan from March 1995, he played once against West Ham United, as his team won the Premier League), Ajax (in his second spell with his main club, he added more than 150 official appearances, helping the club to two leagues and back-to-back domestic cups; additionally, he was loaned to Spanish top flight club Deportivo Alavés in the 2001–02 season), amateurs ADO '20 in Heemskerk and Oita Trinita from Japan, retiring in June 2004 at nearly 35 years of age.
In 2013, Witschge returned to Ajax as a youth coach.
Witschge earned 31 caps for the Netherlands, in which he scored one goal. He made his debut on 21 February 1990 in a 0–0 friendly draw against Italy, and was picked for the 1990 FIFA World Cup under manager Leo Beenhakker.
However, an injury playing for Barcelona ruled him out of UEFA Euro 1992 and he did not make another major tournament until Euro 1996, held in England. During this time, his place in the national team was taken by his older brother.
|1994–95||Blackburn Rovers||Premier League||1||0|
|2004||Oita Trinita||J1 League||9||0|
- "Witschge o Salinas es la duda" [Doubting between Witschge and Salinas] (PDF). Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish). 27 November 1992. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
- "Overzicht trainers jeugdopleiding" [Youth coaches overview] (in Dutch). AFC Ajax. 23 May 2013. Archived from the original on 9 June 2013. Retrieved 31 July 2013.
- "Football's best brothers: As the Nevilles are reunited, we rank 30 of soccer's most celebrated sets of siblings". Daily Mirror. 3 December 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2016.
- "Richard Witschge". Footballdatabase. Retrieved 14 June 2015.
- "Richard Witschge". European Football. Retrieved 18 September 2015.