Former Dutch international Edgar Davids is returning to active football for English Championship club Crystal Palace FC. The 37 year old has signed a one year pay-as-you-play contract, which means he will only earn if he plays for the London-based side. Davids had not played active club football since summer 2008 when he left his home club Ajax Amsterdam.
For Palace the signing of Davids and three other players on loan marks the end of their transfer embargo which was lifted only yesterday as the club has finally come out of administration. And Palace manager George Burley is a happy man in bringing in such an experienced ex-international to Selhurst Park, but Davids will have to prove if he can cope with the pressures of Championship football at the age of 37.
David said after signing his contract earlier today, "It is an exciting time for the football club, and it is an exciting time for me. I just want to enjoy football and show the best I can do."
And manager George Burley told the club website on how the move came about, "We spoke to Edgar and had a meeting with him earlier in the week. The boy felt enthusiasm and he has been training with Ajax, but now its good to see us agree terms with him."
Davids has been around in professional football since 1991 when now Bayern Munich coach Louis van Gaal gave him his first start for the Ajax Amsterdam senior team and he would play his club football around Europe the next 17 years in a career that took him to AC Milan, Juventus Torino, FC Barcelona, Internationale Milan, Tottenham Hotspurs and back to Ajax.
Davids has been one of the toughest defensive midfielders to play against and while at Ajax, he was nicknamed "The Pitbull" by the then coach Louis van Gaal due to his fierce style of play and bite in the midfield. He has 74 international games for the Netherlands to his name and even captained the Oranjes for a while. Davids due to his glaucoma would also wear protective glasses, which became a trademark for him.