Leroy Johan Fer is a Dutch professional footballer who plays as a central midfielder for the Netherlands national football team. Fer has various nicknames. In his youth, he was nicknamed “De Uitsmijter” (“The Bouncer”) by Feyenoord youth coach Jean-Paul van Gastel for his strong physical appearance. Other nicknames are “Lerra” and “Ferovic”. Cor Pot, coach of the Netherlands under-21 national team, compared Fer with Patrick Vieira. According to Pot, both players show many similarities, on and off the field.
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Despite playing for the Netherlands on various youth levels, Fer was in doubt which country to represent, as he was eligible to play for both the Netherlands and Netherlands Antilles. In October 2008, Fer claimed he had not made a decision yet: “Personally I want to mean something for my island. That’s why I’m still in doubt. My brain says it’s better to choose for the Netherlands. Then you’re assured of a big tournament every two years. But my heart is thinking of Curaçao. It would be fantastic to play a World Cup with Netherlands Antilles, it would give the islands an enormous boost. My roots are stronger than my urge to a career, I’m striving for a higher cause. I don’t know yet, but my feelings to play for Netherlands Antilles are very strong.” However, on 26 August 2009, Fer announced he made the final decision and chose to represent the Netherlands at international level. He was selected for the Netherlands’ 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He scored his first World Cup goal in the group match against Chile on 23 June 2014, after coming on as a substitute.