|Davids was capped for the Netherlands 74 times.|
After a glittering career spanning almost twenty years playing at the highest level of world football, veteran Dutch midfielder Edgar Davids has hit the headlines again by announcing a return to the game as player coach at League Two side Barnet.
For me, and indeed many other football fans, Edgar Davids is a man that epitomises that sentimental admiration we still hold deep inside for the players that were viewed as ‘the untouchables’ throughout the footballing word in the 1990s. Players that were plastered in every magazine, all over the television and even on the packaging of the food we ate.
Because of course, the multi-talented midfielder was not just famous for his skills on the pitch. His famous dreadlocks and later protective glasses to guard against glaucoma also made him one of the most recognisable players in the history of the game.
After leaving Ajax in 2008 following a return to the Amsterdam club where he began his career, Davids slowly fizzled out of the limelight for a while. And it wasn’t until 2010 when the Dutchman resurfaced, this time at Crystal Palace on a pay-as-you-play deal that saw him feature in just six games before announcing his retirement at the age of 37.
Two years on from that and the creative midfielder is back at his local football club Barnet. However, it is a world away from the glitz of Ajax, Juventus, Tottenham and AC Milan, with the Bees currently slumped bottom of the League Two table with a mere three points from their first 11 games.
Davids has signed for the London club in a one-year deal as joint coach with current manager Mark Robson. The club’s website revealed that the contract could see Davids deployed to the field of play and said that Davids had ‘expressed a serious intent to become a member of the playing squad.’
With results escaping Barnet at the moment the arrival of a player with such an illustrious career behind him can only boost morale around the club. Davids will not only bring experience, but will also set a fine example to what is a young Barnet side.
Some may argue that his playing days are over, but at what age does the body decide it is too fatigued to compete professionally anymore? If players like Alessandro Del Piero, Paul Scholes, David Beckham and Ryan Giggs can still compete at the highest level, then surely Davids can make the fourth-tier of English football look like a walk in the park.
In terms of management the 39-year-old is new, but he does hold an important backlog of knowledge learnt under multiple managers, not just in this country but abroad too. If Davids can transfer his expertise quickly then Barnet will find they have discovered a hidden gem.
However, it may just be another tale of a player who is tired of twiddling his thumbs after leaving the beautiful game. For Barnet’s sake at least, let’s hope Davids is made for management.