Stefan de Vrij is a Dutch professional footballer who plays for the Italian club Inter Milan and Netherlands national football team as a defender. He was born on 5th February 1992 and hails from riverside village of Ouderkerk aan den IJssel in Southern Holland. A right-footed player, he possesses a very good weaker foot.
A quick and agile defender, he has exceptional quality at reading the game and making interceptions. Standing at 6’2”, he is also good with his aerial ability and proves to be a serious threat in corners.
Very good at defending while on the feet, he is a very tight marker and rarely lets attackers slip past him. He is also capable of playing long balls and often pings the ball upfield to transition the play from defence to attack. Very composed on the ball, he can even run with the ball if given the space, having a trick or two in his locker.
He first started playing youth football for the local club VV Spirit at the age of five, where he spent five years. He joined Feyenoord’s academy after impressing the coaches in several training sessions and playing in a friendly match after attending talent day. At Feyenoord, he was trained to become a defender, as he mostly played as a midfielder at VV Spirit. His development at Feyenoord was rapid, and he was considered one of Europe’s best young talents in the central defence role.
He made his debut for the senior Feyenoord side aged 17 on 24th September 2009.
De Vrij has played at every level for the Netherlands national football team. He was part of the Dutch side which came second in the 2009 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship in Germany. He played in every match for Netherlands without being substituted.
He was named in the preliminary squad of 36 players for the 2012 UEFA Euro in Poland and Ukraine. Despite not being named in the final squad, it spoke hugely of how big a talent he was considered.
He made his debut on 15th August 2012 in a friendly match against Belgium. He came on at half time for Johnny Heitinga. It was a disappointing start as Netherlands went on to lose 4-2.
Rise to Glory
He rose to spotlight in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, where the Netherlands finished third. He played in all of Netherlands match in the tournament. He was named in the Team of the Tournament alongside Arjen Robben.
On September 2015, he suffered a knee injury while playing for the national side. He was however cleared to play for the next match, which infuriated his club Lazio. He wasn’t able to recover from the injury and had to undergo an operation. It kept him from football for six months.
De Vrij has featured for Feyenoord in the Eredivisie and SS Lazio in the Serie A.
He has the won the Italian Cup with Lazio in the 2017-18 season.