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Gregory van der Wiel

Gregory van der Wiel
Gregory van der Wiel 20120609.jpg
Van der Wiel playing for the Netherlands national team at Euro 2012
Personal information
Full nameGregory Kurtley van der Wiel[1]
Date of birth3 February 1988 (age 27)
Place of birthAmsterdam, Netherlands
Height1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing positionRight back
Club information
Current team
Paris Saint-Germain
Youth career
Senior career*
2012–Paris Saint-Germain72(2)
National team
2007Netherlands U191(0)
2008–2009Netherlands U215(0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 26 May 2015.
† Appearances (Goals).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 16 November 2014
Gregory Kurtley van der Wiel (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɣrɛɣɔri vɑn dɛr ˈʋil]; born 3 February 1988) is a Dutch international footballer who plays professionally for Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain, as a right back.
Born in Amsterdam to a father from Curaçao and a Dutch mother, he is a product of the renowned Ajax youth system, who plays an attacking right back and is known for his speedy runs down the flank. In 2010, Van der Wiel was awarded the Johan Cruyff Award for "Young Player of the Year" in the Netherlands.
He made his debut for the Dutch national team in February 2009, and participated in the Netherlands' runners-up performance at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Dutch team-mate John Heitinga has labeled him the spiritual successor of Michael Reiziger for the Netherlands.[2]

Club career


Van der Wiel started his playing career at RKSV DCG in Amsterdam.[3] At the age of seven, the young defender was scouted by Ajax and brought to the Ajax Academy at "De Toekomst". In 2002, Ajax sent the player away to HFC Haarlem due to the player having a "mentality problem".[4] Talking about his period at Haarlem, Van der Wiel has said: "When I was there I realized how spoiled I was. At Ajax everything was always well organized. We received a new kit every season and were picked up with minivans and brought to the club. At Haarlem I arrived in a totally different world. The accommodation was much worse, we played in five-year-old outfits, and had to find our own way to the trainings. The atmosphere was better though, much more relaxed than at Ajax. The period at Haarlem was good for my social development. It was a wake-up call for me."[4]

Van der Wiel pictured in 2007.
In 2005 Ajax approached him once again and brought him back to the Academy. His second stint at the club proved to be a much more successful experience. Following the departure of youth captain Donovan Slijngard, Van der Wiel was made the captain of Jong Ajax.[3]
Van der Wiel made his professional debut for Ajax on 11 March 2007 in a 4–1 away win against FC Twente, coming on as a substitute for Jaap Stam.[5] He would play three more matches that season. For the 2007–08 season he participated in the 1–0 victory over PSV Eindhoven in the battle for the Johan Cruijff Shield, resulting in winning his first career trophy.[6] His real breakthrough came in the 2008–09 season under manager Marco van Basten, where he was ever present in the team: he played 32 league matches (43 matches in all competitions).
Van der Wiel started the 2009–10 season well under new Ajax manager Martin Jol, scoring his third league goal for Ajax on 8 August 2009.[7] The goal came in a 4–1 victory overRKC Waalwijk during which Ajax captain Luis Suárez scored a hat-trick and was van der Wiel's first goal at the Amsterdam ArenA.[7] Van der Wiel's second league goal of the season came on 25 October 2009, in a 4–2 away victory over defending champions AZ Alkmaar.[8] On 1 November 2009, van der Wiel scored in the "klassieker" against arch-rivals Feyenoord in a 5–1 thrashing of the Rotterdam side.[9] On 6 May 2010, Van der Wiel played in the final of the 2009–10 Dutch Cup as Ajax beat Feyenoord 4–1.[10] At the end of the season, Van der Wiel was awarded the Johan Cruijff Award for "Young Player of the Year".[11]

Playing for Ajax in the Champions League, August 2010.
Following the 2010 World Cup Van der Wiel was in talks to make a transfer to Louis van Gaal's Bayern Munich.[12] However, Ajax was not able to agree to a deal.[13] The 2010–11 season was another successful season for Van der Wiel, as he maintained his first-team position under new manager Frank de Boer. At the end of the season, Van der Wiel had played 32 league matches (51 matches in all competitions) and won his first Eredivisie title.[14] Ajax and Twente decided the Eredivisie title in the last league match of the season, and Van der Wiel played an instrumental role in the match with his assist on Siem de Jong for Ajax's opening goal in the match.[15]

Paris Saint-Germain

Van der Wiel moved to Paris Saint-Germain on 1 September 2012 for a reported fee of €6 million.[16] He was given shirt number 23 and made his debut for Paris Saint-Germain on 22 September 2012 in the away match against SC Bastia which was won 4–0 by the visitors as Van der Wiel played the full 90 minutes as right back for the Parisians.[17] For the most part of his debut season in France, Van der Wiel would come off the bench for PSG's team captain Christophe Jallet who also plays as a right back.[18] He made his continental debut for Paris in the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League match against FC Porto. The match resulted in a 1–0 loss in Portugal, with Van der Wiel being substituted off for Jallet in the 66th minute.[19] He scored his first goal for Paris Saint-Germain in the 4–0 away win against Toulouse, scoring the final goal of the match.[20]
In his first season with Paris Saint-Germain, Van der Wiel helped his team reach the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champions League, where they were eliminated by FC Barcelona.[21] In the 88th minute of the game of the away leg at Camp Nou, Van der Wiel was substituted on with the match ending in a 1–1 draw. He did not appear in the first leg of the series, while making five appearances for PSG in the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League campaign altogether.[22] On 12 May 2013 Paris Saint-Germain became champions of France, winning the Ligue 1 title in a 1–0 victory against Olympique Lyonnais at home, marking the club's third ever national championship. Van der Wiel remained on the bench for the duration of the title winning fixture.[23]

International career

Van der Wiel with Dutch fans.
Van der Wiel has been capped at the under-21 level and participated at the 2007 Toulon Tournament. He made his senior debut for theNetherlands on 11 February 2009, coming on as a substitute for former Ajax teammate John Heitinga in the friendly game againstTunisia.[24] He made his first competitive debut on 28 March 2009, being in the starting lineup for the 3–0 2010 World Cup qualificationvictory over Scotland.[25] He again played the whole match for the 4–0 World Cup qualification victory over Macedonia on 1 April 2009.[26]Since then he has established himself as the first choice right-back in the Dutch squad.

Gregory van der Wiel (second from left) with (FLTR: Mark van Bommel,Demy de Zeeuw, and Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Twitter incident

In October 2009, Van der Wiel became embroiled in a controversy after he was unable to travel with the Dutch squad to Australia for a friendly game due to a concussion obtained while playing for Ajax. The player went to a Lil' Wayne concert while his Dutch teammates were in Australia and posted a picture of himself with the rapper on his Twitter page.[27] Several prominent figures in Dutch football criticised the player for his actions, including Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk who stated "It's rather strange that he was able to go to a concert, given that he told me that he was not allowed to fly by the Ajax medical staff."[28] Ajax manager Martin Jol defended the player, stating that the incident was blown out of proportion by the media and that it should not be seen as a lack of respect on the part of the player for the Dutch national team.[28] Van Marwijk has since forgiven Van der Wiel for the incident, stating that "he should not expect that this incident will have consequences for his place in the team".[29]

2010 World Cup

Van der Wiel and Michael Krohn-Dehli at Euro 2012.
Van der Wiel was actively involved in the 2010 World Cup qualification tournament. Van der Wiel was part of the Dutch team for the 2010 FIFA World Cup managed by Bert van Marwijk.[30] The player was in the starting line-up for their first two matches in the competition, 2–0 victory over Denmark and 1–0 victory over Japan.[31] He was also in the starting lineup for the match against Slovakia, the quarter final against Brazil, and the final against Spain, which the Dutch lost due to a late goal by Andres Iniesta.[32]

Euro 2012

Van der Wiel has been Van Marwijk's first choice right-back for the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying Group E matches played by the Netherlands so far. Van der Wiel had been widely criticized for his performance; notably for his back pass against Portugal in the first-half which presented Hélder Postiga with a clear sight of goal which he missed.[33]

Career statistics

As of 28 May 2015.[34][35]
ClubSeasonLeagueCup[nb 1]Europe[nb 2]Total
Paris Saint-Germain2012–132212050291
Career total2021426061229016

International performance

Dutch national team
Statistics accurate as of matches played on 8 November 2014.[36]


Van der Wiel (second from top right) with Ajax teammates in 2010.


Paris Saint-Germain