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Stefan de Vrij

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Stefan de Vrij
De Vrij playing for Inter Milan in 2023
Personal information
Full name Stefan de Vrij[1]
Date of birth (1992-02-05) 5 February 1992 (age 32)[2][3]
Place of birth Ouderkerk aan den IJssel, Netherlands
Height 1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)[4]
Position(s) Centre-back
Team information
Current team
Inter Milan
Number 6
Youth career
1997–2002 VV Spirit
2002–2009 Feyenoord
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2009–2014 Feyenoord 135 (7)
2014–2018 Lazio 95 (8)
2018– Inter Milan 176 (9)
International career
2007–2008 Netherlands U16 3 (0)
2008–2009 Netherlands U17 18 (0)
2010–2011 Netherlands U19 9 (0)
2012 Netherlands U20 1 (0)
2011–2013 Netherlands U21 12 (0)
2012– Netherlands 65 (3)
Medal record
Men's football
Representing  Netherlands
FIFA World Cup
Third place 2014 Brazil Team
UEFA Nations League
Runner-up 2019 Portugal Team
UEFA European Under-17 Championship
Runner-up 2009 Germany Team
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 10 May 2024
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 16 June 2024

Stefan de Vrij (born 5 February 1992) is a Dutch professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Serie A club Inter Milan and the Netherlands national team.

De Vrij began his career at his local club VV Spirit, and debuted as a professional for Feyenoord at age 17. He spent five seasons at the Eredivisie club, serving briefly as captain, before joining Lazio in July 2014.

A full international since 2012, De Vrij has earned over 60 caps for the Netherlands. He was part of the Dutch team that finished third at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and was selected for the Castrol Performance Index Team of the Tournament. He also played at UEFA Euro 2020.

Early life[edit]

De Vrij grew up in Ouderkerk aan den IJssel. He is the youngest son of Jan de Vrij, who played for local club VV Spirit, where Stefan de Vrij started his career. His older brothers Niels and Eric played football in their youth and continued to different career paths.[5]

Club career[edit]

Feyenoord[edit]

De Vrij training with Feyenoord in 2012

De Vrij played for local Ouderkerk aan den IJssel club VV Spirit for five seasons. At the age of 10, he attended a Feyenoord talent day. After various training sessions and a friendly match against ARC, De Vrij was officially asked to join Feyenoord's youth division.[5] At VV Spirit, De Vrij often played as a central midfielder, but at Feyenoord he got turned into a defender. The youngster developed himself rapidly. After playing for Feyenoord U15, De Vrij was one of the players to skip the U16 team to play in the U17 immediately.[5]

de Vrij playing for Lazio in 2018

On 17 July 2009, De Vrij signed his first professional contract with Feyenoord until summer 2012.[6] De Vrij made his official debut for Feyenoord's first team on 24 September 2009, when he replaced Kelvin Leerdam in the 58th minute in the KNVB Cup away match against Harkemase Boys (0–5).[7] On 6 December 2009, De Vrij made his Eredivisie debut in the home match against FC Groningen (3–1), when he replaced Denny Landzaat in the 89th minute.[8] Aged 18 by its end, his first professional season saw him make 21 appearances, 17 of which were in the league.

During the 2012–13 season, De Vrij replaced Ron Vlaar as team captain. However, after a poor run of form in the following campaign, De Vrij was stripped of his armband as it was given first to star striker Graziano Pellè and then to vice-captain Jordy Clasie after the former struggled with disciplinary issues.[9][10]

Lazio[edit]

On 30 July 2014, De Vrij joined Serie A club Lazio for an undisclosed fee. He said "Lazio really proved that they wanted me and I am very happy I have made this move. I hope to become a more complete defender in Italy." De Vrij had been widely expected to follow his international manager Louis van Gaal to Manchester United.[11]

He made his debut on 24 August in the third round of the Coppa Italia, and scored the third goal of a 7–0 home win over third-tier Bassano Virtus.[12] A week later, he played his first Serie A match as Lazio began the season with a 3–1 defeat at A.C. Milan.[13] On 21 September, he was sent off in the 85th minute of a game away to Genoa which Lazio had been dominating, and two minutes later Mauricio Pinilla scored the only goal to give Genoa victory.[14] De Vrij featured in the 2015 Coppa Italia Final on 20 May against Juventus, being substituted for Keita at half time in extra time in an eventual 2–1 defeat.[15]

His second season began with the 2015 Supercoppa Italiana, playing the full 90 minutes of a 2–0 loss to Juventus in Shanghai.[16] In September, he picked up a knee injury on international duty but was passed fit to play a further match for the Netherlands, infuriating Lazio's medical staff.[17] He did not make a sufficient recovery, and was subjected to an operation the following month.[18] In November, it was confirmed that he would miss the next six months due to the injury.[19]

He scored his first goal for the club in Serie A on 11 September 2016 in a 1–1 away draw to Chievo.[20]

In March 2018, Lazio's sporting director Igli Tare announced that De Vrij would be leaving the club on a free transfer in the summer.[21]

Inter Milan[edit]

De Vrij (right) during Inter Milan's match against Red Bull Salzburg

Following months of speculation, on 28 May 2018, De Vrij announced that he was going to join Inter Milan starting on 1 July.[22][23] On 11 July, he was officially presented as an Inter player, signing a contract until June 2023.[24] De Vrij received squad number 6, and made his competitive debut on 19 August in the opening championship week against Sassuolo.[25]

He scored his first goal for Nerazzurri one week later, putting his side two goals up against Torino at home, in an eventual 2–2 draw.[26] In September 2018, De Vrij played his 100th match in Serie A in the 2–1 home win over Fiorentina.[27][28] He also made his first UEFA Champions League appearance in season opener against Tottenham Hotspur, assisting Matías Vecino's injury-time winner for a 2–1 home win.[29] De Vrij eventually played 5 out of 6 matches in the competition's group stage, which saw en early elimination of Inter, instead continuing their European adventure in knockout phase of UEFA Europa League.[30]

Later on 14 March 2019, in the second leg of Europa League round of 16, De Vrij's wrong ball control resulted fatal for Inter who conceded inside 5 minutes, and eventually lost the game to Eintracht Frankfurt 1–0 at San Siro, crashing out of competition 1–0 on aggregate.[31] Three days later, De Vrij scored in the Derby della Madonnina match against rivals Milan, helping his team to win 3–2,[32] taking back the third place in championship,[33] and completing the first league double over them since 2011–12 season.[34]

On 9 November 2019, in the 2019–20 season, De Vrij made his 50th appearance in all competitions for Inter in a 2–1 league win over Verona at San Siro.[35] On the 8 July 2023, De Vrij extended his contract with Inter Milan until 2025.

International career[edit]

Youth teams[edit]

De Vrij's strong development at Feyenoord did not pass by unnoticed, as he quickly received his first invitation for a national youth team.[5] On 21 November 2007, the Netherlands U16 won the friendly match against Ukraine U16 (1–0), with De Vrij's first appearance in the starting line-up.[36]

De Vrij was active on the 2009 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship in Germany. The Dutch team, aided by a strong contingent of seven Feyenoord players in the squad, finished second after losing the final to Germany in extra-time (2–1).[37] De Vrij was paired up with Dico Koppers in central defence[38] and participated in every match the Oranje played without getting substituted, making a notable contribution.[5] With a second place on the European Championship, the Netherlands U17 qualified for the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Nigeria.

Senior team[edit]

In May 2012, De Vrij was named in the provisional list of 36 players for UEFA Euro 2012 but was cut from the final 23-man squad. On 15 August 2012, De Vrij made his debut under new manager Louis van Gaal in the Netherlands' 4–2 loss against Belgium in a friendly match.[39]

De Vrij was a member of the Netherlands' squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup[40] where he scored his first international goal in a 5–1 win over defending champions Spain in the team's opening group match on 13 June.[41] He went on to play in all of the Netherlands' matches as they eventually finished in third place. He and Arjen Robben were the two Dutch players selected to the Team of the Tournament.[42]

In the Netherlands' first game of UEFA Euro 2016 qualification away to the Czech Republic on 9 September 2014, De Vrij equalised with a header from Daley Blind's cross but the Dutch lost 2–1.[43] He headed the team into the lead after 13 minutes in an eventual 2–0 win over Spain in a friendly at the Amsterdam ArenA on 31 March 2015, also wearing the captain's armband after Wesley Sneijder's substitution.[44]

After the team had failed to qualify for both UEFA Euro 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup, De Vrij was included in the Netherlands squad for the 2019 UEFA Nations League finals, where he was an unused substitute in both the semi-final win against England and final loss to Portugal.[45][46]

In June 2021, De Vrij was included in coach Frank de Boer's squad for UEFA Euro 2020. He started all three group matches, as well as the team's 2–0 loss to Czechia in the round of 16.[47]

De Vrij was a member of the Dutch squad for the 2022 FIFA World Cup where he was a unused substitute in all five of the team's matches as they were knocked out by eventual winners Argentina at the quarter-final stage.[48]

On 29 May 2024, De Vrij was named in the Netherlands' squad for UEFA Euro 2024.[49]

Career statistics[edit]

Club[edit]

As of match played 10 May 2024[50][51]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National cup[a] Europe Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Feyenoord 2009–10 Eredivisie 17 1 5 0 22 1
2010–11 Eredivisie 30 1 1 0 2[b] 0 33 1
2011–12 Eredivisie 30 1 2 0 32 1
2012–13 Eredivisie 26 0 3 0 3[c] 0 32 0
2013–14 Eredivisie 32 4 1 0 2[b] 0 35 4
Total 135 7 12 0 7 0 154 7
Lazio 2014–15 Serie A 30 0 5 1 35 1
2015–16 Serie A 2 0 0 0 2[b] 0 1[d] 0 5 0
2016–17 Serie A 27 2 4 0 31 2
2017–18 Serie A 36 6 3 0 7[b] 1 1[d] 0 47 7
Total 95 8 12 1 9 1 2 0 118 10
Inter Milan 2018–19 Serie A 28 2 0 0 8[e] 0 36 2
2019–20 Serie A 34 4 2 0 10[f] 0 46 4
2020–21 Serie A 32 1 4 0 6[g] 0 42 1
2021–22 Serie A 30 0 4 0 6[g] 1 1[d] 0 41 1
2022–23 Serie A 27 1 3 0 7[g] 0 1[d] 0 38 1
2023–24 Serie A 25 1 0 0 6[g] 0 2[d] 0 33 1
Total 176 9 13 0 43 1 4 0 236 10
Career total 406 24 37 1 59 2 6 0 508 27
  1. ^ Includes KNVB Cup, Coppa Italia
  2. ^ a b c d All appearances in UEFA Europa League
  3. ^ Two appearances in UEFA Champions League, one appearance in UEFA Europa League
  4. ^ a b c d e All appearances in Supercoppa Italiana
  5. ^ Five appearances in UEFA Champions League, three appearances in UEFA Europa League
  6. ^ Six appearances in UEFA Champions League, four appearances in UEFA Europa League
  7. ^ a b c d All appearances in UEFA Champions League

International[edit]

As of match played 16 June 2024[52]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National team Year Apps Goals
Netherlands 2012 2 0
2013 7 0
2014 16 2
2015 5 1
2016 0 0
2017 3 0
2018 4 0
2019 0 0
2020 6 0
2021 12 0
2022 4 0
2023 3 0
2024 3 0
Total 65 3
Scores and results list Netherlands' goal tally first, score column indicates score after each De Vrij goal.[52]
List of international goals scored by Stefan de Vrij
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition
1 13 June 2014 Arena Fonte Nova, Salvador, Brazil 13  Spain 3–1 5–1 2014 FIFA World Cup
2 9 September 2014 Generali Arena, Prague, Czech Republic 21  Czech Republic 1–1 1–2 UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying
3 31 March 2015 Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands 27  Spain 1–0 2–0 Friendly

Honours[edit]

Lazio

Inter Milan

Netherlands U17

Netherlands

Individual

References[edit]

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External links[edit]