“The Pitbull” or “the one man engine-room of the team” Edgar Davids was my first footballing legend. A no nonsense player who clearly showed his passion and pride for the shirt every time he walked on to the pitch. I used to love the excitement of watching this box-box, tireless midfielder, never quite knowing if he was about to make a crucial pass or tackle or get involved in a fight with a much larger opponent. There was no fear in his game and no respect for his opponents.
Edgar first came to my attention at Villa Park in Scotland’s respectable 0-0 draw with the orange men, a much more exciting 0-0 than the Aberdeen – Hearts game I went to on Wednesday! Himself and Clarence Seedorf stood out with their athleticism, technique and long black dreadlocks. I was young at the time and had only previously seen Aberdeen games live and sat awestruck by these two in particular.
Davids showed his passion (and lack of respect) by claiming; “Hiddink should stop putting his head in some players’ asses.” He was duly sent home from the tournament and therefore missed his team’s game against England, in which they were pumped.
From this tournament on I followed Davids, as he became one of the best battling midfielders in the world, his career always seemed to have incident, a failed drugs test, an eye disease meaning he would have to wear sunglasses on the pitch and finally a spell at left-back for Crystal Palace described by the great man as one of the greatest experiences of his life.
Characters like Davids seem to be less common in modern game as those players who show personality are often castigated by the media, Edgar was never afraid to speak his mind or put in a tough tackle and the excitement that came with this made him a legend in my eyes* and a regular first signing in Championship Manager.
*even if he did have a spell at Spurs…