JOE's Forgotten Footballers: Winston Bogarde 9 years ago

JOE's Forgotten Footballers: Winston Bogarde

Joe Cole has been roundly criticised by many for earning a huge amount of money at Liverpool while appearing only rarely in the first team. He isn’t the worst offender though. Step forward Winston Bogarde.

By Declan Whooley

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The West Ham midfielder has been lambasted for his reputed £90,000 a week contract at Liverpool and played a total of 42 games before the Reds paid him off to join the Hammers. If you think that is bad, then you must be forgetting about the a Dutch defender more than happy to sit on the sidelines and pick up his hefty pay-packet.

Cast your mind back to August 2000. Chelsea signed the Dutch centre-half from Barcelona on a free transfer. Bogarde was part of a glittering Ajax team that won the Champions League in 1995 and two years later he joined the mass exodus by moving to AC Milan.

Bogarde had an unhappy season in Serie A and joined Barcelona in the summer of 1998 where he resurrected his career. After two years at the Nou Camp, where he won the title twice, Chelsea fans thought they had done a nice bit of business in the transfer market when he arrived at Stamford Bridge. Though with a four year contract worth £10 million, it was the defender who was beaming like a Cheshire cat. And this was the pre-Roman Abramovich era.

Under two different managers, Bogarde would start just four games in a Chelsea shirt. In total he would make just twelve appearances for the Blues in what was one of the costliest mistakes by the Premier League club.

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Looking a little stout at Edwin Van Der Sar's testimonial in 2011

His final appearance for Chelsea would be an inglorious substitute appearance against Gillingham in the League Cup in 2002, but there were still two years left on his deal. And with a wage of £50,000 a week, the Dutchman had no intentions of going anywhere. As he famously put it: "Chelsea offered me a contract, I signed the contract, so what is the problem?"

Chelsea offered me a contract, I signed the contract, so what is the problem?

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He was banished to train with the reserves and his routine in his final year was a daily commute from Amsterdam via Heathrow airport. After his less than glittering career at Stamford Bridge finally came to an end, he wasn’t exactly in hot demand.

His career petered out and Bogarde, who had enjoyed a luxurious few years, had little interest in getting back to full-time work. Using the term lightly in his case.

Involvement with music companies, financial troubles – he sold many of his footballing possessions to pay off debts - and a halt to his coaching career has seen a sad decline for a man with 20 international caps and title medals in both Holland and Spain.

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He used to be good - getting to grips with Alan Shearer at Euro 96

No matter when and where the topic of footballers and excessive money is bandied about, it is hard not to think of Winston Bogarde.