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Winston Bogarde (born 22 October 1970 in Rotterdammarker) is a former Dutchmarker professional footballer.

A player of immense physical strength,he played mostly as a central defender, although he could occasionally appear in the left, and was best known for his spells at Ajax Amsterdam, FC Barcelona and Chelsea.

With the latter side, he garnered worldwide attention as, although he received almost no playing time (no league appearances whatsoever in his last three seasons combined), he preferred to see out his lucrative contract.

Club career

The Netherlands

Bogarde started his career at amateur Schiedamse Voetbal Vereniging, as a winger,then switched to the professionals in 1990, playing with two hometown clubs: Excelsior and Sparta. With the latter, in 1993–94, he netted an astonishing 11 goals, as Sparta qualified for the UEFA Intertoto Cup.

Bogarde signed for country giants AFC Ajax in 1994; after a first slow season (he did not leave the bench in the club's victorious Champions League final), he became a defensive stalwart.


A.C. Milan signed Bogarde from Ajax for 1997-98, but he only made three league appearances throughout his short stay. In January 1998, he moved to compatriot Louis van Gaal's FC Barcelona, appearing in 19 matches in the second part of the season, as Barça won the league (and the cup).

As the Dutch influence at Nou Campmarker was reducing, so was Bogarde's, who only managed one league contest in his second season (partly due to injuries), although he bounced back for a third respectable one (21 matches, two goals).

Bogarde signed for Chelsea F.C. in 2000–01, after following the advice of compatriot Mario Melchiot to join him at the Londonmarker club. He was signed when Gianluca Vialli was manager — although the latter had no idea the transfer was happening, it arguably being conducted by general manager Colin Hutchinson. Emerson Thome, also a centre-back, was shipped off to Sunderland AFC. Only weeks after signing his contract with the club, newly-appointed manager Claudio Ranieri wanted the player to leave.

According to Bogarde, it would be next to impossible to find a team that would offer him a contract comparable to the one he had at Chelsea; he was astounded at the salary Chelsea had agreed on since it is a fact that his value has depreciated severely due to lack of first-team action. Bogarde decided to stay at Chelsea honouring his contract to the letter (as he could not get a similar salary anwhere else) and appearing to training every day, but only played for the team very sparingly. Of his contract he said, 'Why should I throw fifteen million Euro away when it is already mine? At the moment I signed it was in fact my money, my contract'. In the end, he only appeared eleven times during his four-year contract, reportedly earning £40,000 a week during this period. Furthermore, Chelsea won a domestic trophy during this period triggering a bonus payment in agreement with his contract, despite Bogarde not featuring at all for Chelsea that season.

During his period at Chelsea, the club repeatedly tried to offload Bogarde, because of his inflated wages. When there were no takers, Chelsea demoted him to the reserve and youth teams, in an effort to force Bogarde to leave. He also became a figure of ridicule in the Englishmarker press for his alleged selfishness. Of the derision he received at the hands of the press, Bogarde responded, 'This world is about money, so when you are offered those millions you take them. Few people will ever earn so many. I am one of the few fortunates who do. I may be one of the worst buys in the history of the Premiership, but I don't care.'

On 8 November 2005, Bogarde announced his retirement from professional football, having failed to reach an agreement with a club since leaving Chelsea.

International career

Courtesy of steady performances at Ajax, Bogarde was summoned to UEFA Euro 1996 by Holland manager Guus Hiddink, who also included him in the squad for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. A starter in the first competition, he only backed-up Arthur Numan in the second.

Bogarde had the chance to feature in his first start at a World Cup match against Brazil in the semifinals, after starter Numan was suspended in the previous encounter against Argentina, but he sustained a serious shin injury during training and was hospitalised, being replaced by Philip Cocu. This competition was also where Bogarde was viewed as detrimental to the Dutch team's morale as, after the second round match against Yugoslavia, he was seen forcibly pushing his fellow teammates, Edwin van der Sar and Numan, who were joining to celebrate Edgar Davids' winning goal (2–1).



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