UTRECHT – Eleven years ago, Edson Braafheid stepped into action as a substitute in the 2010 World Cup final against Spain. After 71 minutes, the former FC Utrecht player replaced Giovanni van Bronkhorst. In the same match, current FC Utrecht left striker Eljero Elia came in to replace Dirk Kuijt. Braafheid was invited to Een Berg Sport on Friday.
Elia came to FC Utrecht last summer and, partly because of injuries, didn’t really show it at Galgenwaard. Braafheid knows FC Utrecht and the club’s mentality very well, as well as Elia. “I knew him at FC Twente. He wasn’t consciously involved in the game at the time. Now I think he’s a very complete winger who can give any defender a tough game. And he also performs his defensive duties. “
Utrecht’s mentality is first to see and then to believe. It wasn’t until Elijah showed something that fans would start to appreciate him. “It needs attention. If you put the energy and time into it, it will pay off, no doubt,” says Braafheid. “Utrecht always has a flavor maker on the team. Eljero can become that flavor maker, he has those qualities. Utrecht can get the most out of Eljero, even now. And then they really appreciate him, because this man has qualities. “
Not a favorite club
Braafheid, 37, made more than 90 appearances for FC Utrecht between 2003 and 2007. He won the KNVB Cup and the Johan Cruijff Shield. In 2016 he returned to Galgenwaard with clubs such as Bayern Mnchen, Lazio Roma and Celtic behind his name. In 2018, he left again, this time to America.
“FC Utrecht were the start of a great career,” said Braafheid, who cannot name a favorite club in the list of clubs where he has played. “I really have a story in each club. And not because I’m here now, but at FC Utrecht I laid the groundwork. That’s why I came back.”
Braafheid returned to Galgenwaard with ten international matches in his bag. “I joined Orange when I played for FC Twente. It was of course a childhood dream come true. I had already played against Sneijder, Van der Vaart and Van Persie. And now I have gone side by side. coast with them. “
In 2010, Braafheid played for Bayern Munich, which led to selection for the World Cup in South Africa. “I reached the highest possible goal. The longer it takes, the more proud I become, because there are not many footballers who have been allowed to play on this stage and I am one of them. them. I’m very proud of that now. “
Braafheid now lives with his family in the United States. “I play for the Palm Beach Stars. I can gradually move up as a football player, but also have a role off the pitch. The club want to enter the Pro League.”
He has now been in the Netherlands for some time. “I’m very happy to be here but can’t wait to go back.”