Tim de Cler

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Tim de Cler
Tim de Cler 001.jpg
De Cler in 2007
Personal information
Full name Tim de Cler [1]
Date of birth (1978-11-08) 8 November 1978 (age 44)
Place of birth Leiden, Netherlands
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in)
Position(s) Left-back
Youth career
Senior career*
1997–2002 Ajax 75 (2)
2002–2007 AZ 157 (4)
2007–2011 Feyenoord 87 (1)
2011–2013 AEK Larnaca 41 (0)
International career
2005–2008 Netherlands 17 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals

Tim de Cler (born 8 November 1978) is a Dutch former professional footballer who played as a left-back for Ajax, AZ, Feyenoord and AEK Larnaca.


Early life

De Cler is born and raised in Leiden, South Holland. In Leiden, he grew up in a neighbourhood with 15–20 boys around the same age. Together with his brother Henk, he was found on the streets playing football constantly.[ citation needed ]

Club career


At age six, De Cler joined his first football team, amateur side Lugdunum. There he played as a centre-back until age 12. Ajax showed interest in him and, despite him supporting Feyenoord, joined their rival's world-famous youth academy. [2]


At Ajax, De Cler played at first as a left winger, but eventually he was positioned as a left-back when he reached the A-level in youth football. [2] He was offered his first professional contract and joined Ajax's second team. Occasionally, he was added to the first team squad to train with the elite at the club.[ citation needed ]

On 23 April 1998, De Cler made his professional debut in a 6–1 home win over Willem II. Two days later, he played another match with the second team and he broke his tibia, which sidelined him for four months. [2] That season, Ajax won both the Eredivisie and the KNVB Cup, and although these were De Cler's first official trophies, there were mixed feelings due to his injury. [2] Once he was declared fit again, his tibia was struck by a ball and he was sidelined for another four months. He rejoined the Ajax first team squad after he was declared fit for the second time. [2] The KNVB Cup won by Ajax in 1999 offered him much more joy than the title won the year prior.[ citation needed ]

During his time at Ajax, De Cler had tough competition from fellow defenders Cristian Chivu, John O'Brien and Maxwell, but nonetheless managed to play many matches. In his final year at the club, he won both the Eredivisie and the KNVB Cup for the second and third time respectively.[ citation needed ]


De Cler left Ajax in the summer of 2002 to join AZ, at the time a mid-table club. In his first season, AZ finished in the tenth position in the Eredivisie, however prospects changed when Co Adriaanse was appointed the side's manager in 2003. [2] Under Adriaanse, AZ nearly secured European football in his first season. It was the start of a unique period in which AZ found themselves improving among the three historical giant teams in the Netherlands and even in Europe; that is, Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV. In 2005, AZ unexpectedly reached the UEFA Cup semi-finals, only to be beaten on away goals by Sporting CP. De Cler was also named to Marco van Basten's squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup. During the World Cup, he played one match, the goalless draw against Argentina.[ citation needed ]

In his last year at AZ, during the 2006–07 season, AZ could claim the Eredivisie championship at the last matchday as they were equal on points with both Ajax and PSV. However, AZ had the superior goal difference and would have been the champions should all clubs stay equal on points. Where Ajax and PSV both won their final match of the season AZ lost theirs against Excelsior and finished in third position as a result. They also reached the final of the KNVB Cup, but were again denied the trophy as Ajax won the cup after a penalty shoot-out.[ citation needed ]


De Cler with Feyenoord in 2007 Tim de Cler 002.jpg
De Cler with Feyenoord in 2007

After five years at AZ, De Cler felt it was time for a change. Both PSV and Feyenoord showed interest. His agent Rob Jansen, who also works with Roy Makaay and Kevin Hofland, made a unique effort to discuss the future of his players with them, each other and their future club Feyenoord to bring them all together at the club. Also Sigi Lens the agent of Giovanni van Bronckhorst was a part of the deal and when manager Bert van Marwijk signed his contract as the new Feyenoord manager, all these players were contracted within a few weeks time span. [2] [3]

AEK Larnaca

Having parted company with Feyenoord, De Cler signed a two-year contract with the Cypriot First Division side AEK Larnaca on 30 June 2011 following a suggestion from the club's head coach, Jordi Cruyff. [4]

After finishing his professional career in 2013, [5] De Cler returned to his youth club Lugdunum. [6]

International career

De Cler represented the Netherlands national team. He had been a regular member of the Dutch national team since Marco van Basten took over as coach in August 2004 and was selected for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2008.[ citation needed ]

Career statistics


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Ajax 1997–98 Eredivisie 10000010
1998–99 1200000120
1999–2000 2100000210
2000–01 2520000252
2001–02 1600000160
AZ 2002–03 Eredivisie3020000302
2003–04 3300000330
2004–05 32100120441
2005–06 3000070370
2006–07 32100110431
Feyenoord 2007–08 Eredivisie3210000321
2008–09 1902050260
2009–10 703000100
2010–11 2901020320
AEK Larnaca 2011–12 Cypriot First Division 2610000261
2012–13 1500000150
Career total3618603704048




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  1. "2006 FIFA World Cup Germany: List of Players: Netherlands" (PDF). FIFA. 21 March 2014. p. 19. Archived from the original (PDF) on 10 June 2019.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Tim de Cler spelers info Archived 21 August 2007 at the Wayback Machine , feyenoord.nl
  3. Het succes van Feyenoord, feyenoord-internet.nl
  4. De Cler vervolgt carrière op Cyprus, (in Dutch) feyenoord-internet.nl
  5. Tim de Cler stopt definitief met voetballen - (in Dutch)
  6. Lugdunum viert langverwacht kampioensfeest - Sleutelstad (in Dutch)
  7. "Feyenoord klopt Roda in bekerfinale" (in Dutch). De Pers. 27 April 2008. Archived from the original on 1 May 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2017.