Van der Meyde Andy
Andy van der Meijde, anglicised to van der Meyde (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɛndi vɑn dər ˈmɛi̯də] is a Dutch retired footballer who played as a winger. After making a name for himself at Ajax, he went on to represent Inter Milan and Everton, his spell at the latter club being cut short due to several problems, both on and off the pitch. Van der Meyde spent six months unattached before agreeing a short-term deal with PSV Eindhoven in March 2010. On 23 April he made his debut for the club in a 3–0 friendly win over VVV-Venlo, but failed to appear officially during his stint. In late February 2011, Van der Meyde retired from professional football at the age of 31. However, in December, he returned to action and joined Topklasse amateurs WKE based in Emmen, until the end of the season. A Dutch international in the early 2000s, Van der Meyde appeared for his country at Euro 2004.
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Born in Arnhem, Gelderland, Van der Meyde signed for AFC Ajax as a youngster, and made his first-team debut aged just 18, helping to a 1–0 win against FC Twente on 12 November 1997. In 1999, in order to gain experience, he was loaned to Twente for one season, and was an undisputed starter for a side that finished sixth in the Eredivisie. It would be in 2001–02 that Van der Meyde established himself as first-choice at Ajax. After a turbulent start, Ronald Koeman was instated as head coach, and the player became an integral part in the rebuilding of the team, making the right-winger position his own. The campaign ended in huge success as the Amsterdam club conquered the double, with him scoring five times in the league. In 2002–03 Van der Meyde – playing alongside the likes of youngsters as Mido, Zlatan Ibrahimović, Rafael van der Vaart, Wesley Sneijder, Steven Pienaar and Cristian Chivu – scored a career-best 11 goals, while also helping Ajax to the quarterfinals in the UEFA Champions League, netting in a crucial 1–1 away draw against A.S. Roma which certified the team’s qualification for the knockout stages.
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Van der Meyde was married, a relationship from which he had two daughters. In November 2012, following the publication of his biography Geen genade (English: No Mercy), Van der Meyde gave a series of media interviews, including with The Times in England, in which he admitted to a long term series of personal problems: after a difficult first year in Milan he spent a long time on the bench in his second year, and began drinking. Offered the chance to join AS Monaco at the end of the season his wife, who liked to keep animals, rejected the prospect of living in an apartment, so he moved to Everton. Injured upon arriving, he played regularly for a period after regaining fitness, before getting injured against Manchester United; in rehabilitation for six months, after his newly born daughter was hospitalised for an equal period, he again turned to alcohol. In his second year at Everton, Van der Meyde’s wife and daughters returned to the Netherlands to enable his youngest child to gain more hospital treatment with family support. He then began an affair, which after denying this for a period to his wife, was discovered after she paid a private detective to follow him; this resultantly lead to his divorce, and also a break-up with his girlfriend. After having his contract terminated with Everton at the end of the fourth season due to recurring injury, personal problems, and falling out with manager David Moyes, Van der Meyde stayed resident in Liverpool for a year. Moving in with a friend he began a downward spiral of drink, excessive gambling and drug taking, including cocaine. Realising his now depressive state, Van der Meyde agreed with his agent to return to Amsterdam, who negotiated a training agreement with former club Ajax. This allowed him to turn around his life, and regain contact with his ex-wife and daughters. On 24 May 2014, Van der Meyde refereed the Lingerie World Cup, which the Netherlands won on home soil.
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Andy Van der Meyde rifle goal’s celebration was very popular back to his Inter and Ajax era. In the 2003 off-season, when he was 24-year-old Van der Meyde was acquired by Inter Milan from Italy, for £4 million. However, he managed only 14 Serie A appearances in his first season, appearing slightly more in the following campaign. Van der Meyde scored a spectacular goal against Arsenal on 17 September 2003, in the Champions League group stage 3–0 away win at Highbury, as the Nerazzurri were eventually ousted in the group stages. After leaving Inter, strong speculation suggested Van der Meyde would return to Ajax, with additional reported interest from French club AS Monaco FC and Tottenham Hotspur in England. On 19 May 2002, Van der Meyde was handed his debut for Dick Advocaat’s Dutch national team against the United States, which he marked with a goal in a 2–0 win. He helped the country reach the semi-finals of UEFA Euro 2004, featuring in four games – all starts – and assisting Ruud van Nistelrooy in the 1–1 group stage draw to Germany, but being overlooked for the last-four match against Portugal. After the tournament, following Marco van Basten’s appointment as national team manager and the emergence of youngsters as Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie and Rafael van der Vaart, Van der Meyde failed to receive another callup, finishing his international career with 17 caps.