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Jakob "Jaap" Stam (born 17 July 1972 in Kampenmarker) is a retired Dutch football player who was twice voted best defender in the 1998–99 and 1999–2000 UEFA Champions League. He currently works on the non-playing staff at FC Zwolle.

Club career

Early career

Stam started his career with local amateur football club DOS Kampen. On 15 August 1992, Stam made his professional debut for FC Zwolle in a 1–1 draw against SC Heracles in the Eerste Divisie. He became a first team regular right away and moved to Eredivisie side Cambuur Leeuwarden for the following season, but relegated in his first season which brought him back into the Eerste Divisie. Two seasons at Cambuur earned him a transfer to Eredivisie side Willem II. At Willem II he impressed at the Eredivisie level straight away, which meant his final breakthrough. A shock 1–0 home victory over Ajax led to Stam's transfer to PSV Eindhoven in the same season in which they eventually won the KNVB Cup, his first professional trophy.


Stam was a key player for PSV in the 1996–97 season, as the team won the Eredivisie Championship and the Johan Cruijff-schaal (the Dutch Super Cup); Stam won the VVCS Footballer of the Year award.

In 1998, Stam became the then most expensive Dutch football player in history and the most expensive defender in history, when Manchester United bought him for £10.6 million.

Manchester United

Stam spent three seasons at Manchester United, during which time United won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, the Intercontinental Cup and the UEFA Champions League. He scored his only goal for the club in a 6-2 away victory against Leicester City.

Early in the 2001–02 season, Stam was controversially sold to Lazio in Italymarker, after Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was reportedly furious with allegations Stam had made in his autobiography Head to Head about himself and the club. Stam made numerous statements in the book about his views on opposing players, and notoriously alleged that Ferguson's approach to buy him was done without the permission of PSV Eindhoven. Laurent Blanc was signed as his replacement.

However, Alex Ferguson has since described the decision to sell Jaap: "At the time he had just come back from an achilles injury and we thought he had just lost a little bit. We got the offer from Lazio, £16.5m for a centre-back who was 29. It was an offer I couldn't refuse. But in playing terms it was a mistake. He is still playing for Ajax at a really good level."


During his time with Lazio, Stam was found guilty of having the banned steroid nandrolone in his system following a Serie A game, and received a five-month ban, which was eventually reduced by a month after appeals. He is the second Lazio player suspended in 2001, after Fernando Couto.

In his last season at the club, he won the Coppa d'Italia with Lazio.


Stam joined Milan after Euro 2004. On 30 January 2006, it was announced that he would return to the Eredivisie and play for Ajax, where he signed a two-year contract. This came as a surprise to many, as it was expected he would return to either his former club PSV Eindhoven, or SC Heerenveen.


Stam was immediately named team captain upon his arrival in Amsterdammarker. In his first season, he won both the Johan Cruijff-schaal and the KNVB Cup, and another Johan Cruijff-schaal was added at the start of the 2007–08 season.

On 29 October 2007, he announced his immediate retirement from professional football.

Post career

As of October 2008, Stam had returned to Manchester United as a scout for the club, responsible for most of South America.

International career

Stam made his debut for the Netherlands on 24 April 1996, in the 1–0 defeat to Germany. He was also an important player in the Dutch team that finished fourth in the 1998 FIFA World Cup

During the Euro 2000, he reached another semi finals with the Dutch team, hosted in his home country and Belgiummarker. Stam missed an important penalty kick in the penalty shootout in the semi-finals, which led to defeat against Italy.

Stam reached his third semi finals in an international competition with his nation during Euro 2004 in Portugalmarker and retired from international football after the tournament. The reason for his international retirement was that he wanted to focus on his new team AC Milan and his family.

In total he played 67 matches for the Netherlands, scoring 3 goals.



PSV Eindhoven

Manchester United





Career statistics


  2. [Alex Ferguson describing the sale of Jaap Stam [] Retrieved on 17 January 2009
  3. Stam decides to call it quits

External links

1992–93 Zwolle Eerste Divisie 32 1
1993–94 Cambuur Eredivisie 33 1
1994–95 Eerste Divisie 33 2
1995–96 Willem II Tilburg Eredivisie 19 1
1995–96 PSV Eindhoven Eredivisie 14 1
1996–97 33 7
1997–98 29 4

1998–99 Manchester United Premier League 30 1
1999–2000 33 0
2000–01 15 0
2001–02 1 0

2001–02 Lazio Serie A 13 1
2002–03 28 0
2003–04 29 2
2004–05 Milan Serie A 17 0
2005–06 25 1

2006–07 Ajax Eredivisie 25 1
2007–08 6 0

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