Sander Westerveld

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Sander Westerveld
Westerveld in 2011
Personal information
Date of birth (1974-10-23) 23 October 1974 (age 44)
Place of birth Enschede, Netherlands
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Youth career
1980–1988 De Tubanters
1988–1994 Twente
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1995 Twente 14 (0)
1995–1999 Vitesse 101 (0)
1999–2001 Liverpool 75 (0)
2001–2005 Real Sociedad 77 (0)
2004–2005 Mallorca (loan) 6 (0)
2005–2006 Portsmouth 6 (0)
2006 Everton (loan) 2 (0)
2006–2007 Almería 34 (0)
2007–2008 Sparta Rotterdam 29 (0)
2009–2011 Monza 54 (0)
2011–2013 Ajax Cape Town 42 (0)
Total 440 (0)
National team
1999–2004 Netherlands 6 (0)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 8 July 2013.
† Appearances (goals)

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 20 May 2008

Sander Westerveld (born 23 October 1974) is a retired Dutch professional football goalkeeper who is currently the goalkeeping coach of South African Premier Soccer League club Ajax Cape Town.

The highlight of his playing career, spent in five different countries, was a treble of the FA Cup, Football League Cup and UEFA Cup with Liverpool in 2001. Westerveld was included in the Netherlands' squads for Euro 2000 and Euro 2004, but due to the consistency of Edwin van der Sar, earned 6 international caps over five years.

Club career

Early career and Liverpool

His first professional match was for the Enschede club FC Twente in 1994. After two seasons at Enschede he moved to Vitesse Arnhem where, in the course of three seasons, he developed into a goalkeeper of national stature.

Following the 1998–1999 season, during which he helped Vitesse to qualify for Europe, Westerveld was sold to Liverpool, where he succeeded David James. He became the most expensive goalkeeper in British football when he joined the Reds for a reported fee of £4 million during the summer of 1999. Westerveld made his Liverpool debut against Sheffield Wednesday on the 7 August 1999 in a 2–1 away win.[1] The giant keeper was Gérard Houllier's first choice to succeed James as Anfield's number one, and Westerveld fully justified the manager's confidence by playing a leading role in Liverpool's return to Europe, conceding the fewest goals in the 1999–2000 Premiership season.

He played a key role in the treble season of 2000–2001 for Liverpool, emerging as the hero of Liverpool's League Cup final victory over Birmingham City, making the match winning save from Andy Johnson in the penalty shoot-out.[2]

However, towards the end of his two-season spell at Liverpool, he was often subjected to criticism from the media. After a major mistake in a game against Bolton Wanderers on 27 August 2001 he was put on the bench by then-manager Gérard Houllier, who promptly signed two new goalkeepers – Jerzy Dudek and Chris Kirkland. He did not play again after the Bolton error, and was sold to Real Sociedad of La Liga on 16 December 2001, for £3.4 million.[3]

Real Sociedad

Sociedad were runners-up in La Liga in the 2002–2003 season, and played in the following season's Champions League. However, that season saw him loaned to RCD Mallorca, where Miguel Angel Moya kept him out of the team. His contract then expired.[4]


In July 2005 he moved back to the Premier League with Portsmouth, being signed by Alain Perrin on a one-year contract. He was expected to be the first choice goalkeeper, ahead of Jamie Ashdown and Kostas Chalkias. However, after an inconsistent time at Fratton Park, in which he played only 6 league matches, he was allowed to move on a 28-day loan to Everton, rivals of his former club Liverpool, on 24 February 2006.[5] Everton had a temporary goalkeeping crisis in which Nigel Martyn, Richard Wright and Iain Turner were all unavailable, and Westerveld played two matches for them. When he returned to Portsmouth, he remained a substitute and was released by Harry Redknapp on 11 May 2006.[6]

Later career

On 28 July 2006, Westerveld signed with Spanish Second division club UD Almería for one season,[7] in which he helped them to achieve promotion to the Spanish First division before leaving the club at the end of his contract.

On 7 September 2007, he joined Sparta Rotterdam on a short-term contract[8] and in May 2008 he announced that he was to leave Sparta.[9]

During the summer of 2009 he signed for Italian Lega Pro Prima Divisione club A.C. Monza Brianza 1912, after a successful trial with the club. He later joined Ajax Cape Town in South Africa where he is the number 1 goalkeeper. At the end of the 2012-13 season, his contract was terminated and then became a goalkeeping coach of Ajax Cape Town.[10]

International career

Westerveld made his debut for the Netherlands on 8 June 1999, in an away friendly 3-1 defeat to Brazil in Goiania. He was included in the Dutch squad for Euro 2000, and played the last group match against France, both team being already qualified. The last of his six caps came on 28 February 2001, in a 0-0 friendly home draw with Turkey,[11] although he did make the squad for Euro 2004.[12]

Career statistics

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Netherlands League KNVB Cup League Cup Europe Total
1994–95 Twente Eredivisie 3 0
1995–96 11 0
1996–97 Vitesse Eredivisie 34 0
1997–98 34 0
1998–99 33 0
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
1999–2000 Liverpool Premier League 36 0
2000–01 38 0
2001–02 1 0
Spain League Copa del Rey Supercopa de España Europe Total
2001–02 Real Sociedad La Liga 20 0
2002–03 37 0
2003–04 20 0
2004–05 Mallorca La Liga 6 0
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2005–06 Portsmouth Premier League 6 0
2005–06 Everton Premier League 2 0
Spain League Copa del Rey Supercopa de España Europe Total
2006–07 Almería Segunda División 34 0
Netherlands League KNVB Cup League Cup Europe Total
2007–08 Sparta Rotterdam Eredivisie 29 0
Italy League Coppa Italia League Cup Europe Total
2009–10 Monza Lega Pro 30 0
2010–11 24 0
South Africa League Nedbank Cup League Cup Africa Total
2011–12 Ajax Cape Town ABSA Premiership 23 0
2012–13 19 0
Total Netherlands 144 0
England 83 0
Spain 117 0
Italy 54 0
South Africa 42 0
Career total 440 0

Career honours

Honours as player



Real Sociedad





External links