Tim de Cler
|This article's lead section may not adequately summarize key points of its contents. (June 2013)|
|Full name||Tim de Cler|
|Date of birth||8 November 1978|
|Place of birth||Leiden, The Netherlands|
|Height||1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Playing position||Left Back|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 9 August 2013 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 27 January 2010 (UTC)
De Cler is born and raised in Leiden, South Holland, The Netherlands. In Leiden he grew up in a neighbourhood with 15–20 boys around the same age. Together with his brother Henk he was found on the streets playing football constantly.
When he was six years old he joined his first football team, amateur side Lugdunum. There he played as a centre back until he was twelve years old. Ajax showed interest in him and despite being a Feyenoord supporter he joined their rival's world-famous youth academy.
At Ajax he played at first as a left winger, but eventually he was positioned as a left back when he reached the A-level in youth football. He was offered his first professional contract and joined Ajax' second team. Once in a while he was added to the first team squad to train with the elite at the club.
On 23 April 1998 he made his professional debut in a 6–1 home win over Willem II. Two days after his debut he played another match with the second team and he broke his tibia, which sidelined him for four months. That season Ajax won both the Eredivisie and the KNVB Cup and although these were his first official trophies there were mixed feelings due to his injury. Once he was declared fit again his tibia was hit by a ball and he was sidelined for another four months. He rejoined Ajax first team squad again right after he was declared fit for the second time. The KNVB Cup that was won in 1999 offered him much more joy than the one won a year before. In his years at Ajax he had a tough competition with players like Cristian Chivu, John O'Brien and Maxwell. Still he managed to play a lot of matches. In his final year at the club he won both the Eredivisie and the KNVB Cup for the second and third time respectively.
De Cler decided to leave Ajax in the summer of 2002 and joined AZ, which in these days was a team that performed in the middle areas of the league table. In his first season at the club they finished in 10th position, but things changed when Co Adriaanse was appointed as their new manager in 2003. Under Adriaanse AZ almost secured European football in his first season. It was the start of a unique period in which AZ found themselves improving among the three historical giant teams in the Netherlands and even in Europe. In 2005 AZ unexpectedly made it to the UEFA Cup semi-finals, only to be beaten on away goals by Sporting Lisbon. He was part of Marco van Basten's squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. During the World Cup he played one match, the goalless draw against Argentina.
In his last year at AZ, during the 2006–07 season AZ could claim the Eredivisie championship at the last matchday as they were equal on points with both Ajax and PSV, but AZ had the far better goal difference and would have been the champions when all teams stayed equal on points. Where Ajax and PSV both won their final match of the season AZ lost theirs against Excelsior and finished in third position as a result. They also reached the final of the KNVB Cup, but were again denied the trophy as Ajax won the cup after a penalty shoot-out.
After five years at AZ he felt it was time for a change. Both PSV and Feyenoord showed interest. His agent Rob Jansen, who also works with Roy Makaay and Kevin Hofland made a unique effort to discuss the future of his players with them, each other and their future club Feyenoord to bring them all together at the club. Also Sigi Lens the agent of Giovanni van Bronckhorst was a part of the deal and when manager Bert van Marwijk signed his contract as the new Feyenoord manager all these players were contracted within a few weeks time span.
De Cler also represents the Dutch national team. He has been a constant member of the Dutch national team since Marco van Basten took over as coach in August 2004 and was selected for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2008. During his career he has won two Eredivisie championships and three KNVB Cups.
De Cler has one son, Twan.
|2011–12||AEK Larnaca||Cypriot First Division||26||1||0||0||0||0||26||1|
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