Stefan de Vrij
|Full name||Stefan de Vrij|
|Date of birth||5 February 1992|
|Place of birth||Ouderkerk aan den IJssel, Netherlands|
|Height||1.89 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Playing position||Centre back|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 13 May 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
Stefan de Vrij (born 5 February 1992 in Ouderkerk aan den IJssel) is a Dutch footballer who currently plays as a defender for Dutch Eredivisie club Feyenoord where he is captain. He also represents the Netherlands U-21.
De Vrij grew up in Ouderkerk aan den IJssel, South Holland. He's the youngest son of Jan de Vrij, who played for local club vv Spirit, where Stefan de Vrij started his career. Besides his father, De Vrij is the only football player in the family. His older brothers Niels and Eric did play football in their youth, but weren't as talented as their youngest brother.2
De Vrij played for local Ouderkerk aan den IJssel club vv Spirit for 5 seasons. At the age of 10, he attended a Feyenoord talent day. After various training sessions and a friendly match against ARC, De Vrij was officially asked to join Feyenoord's youth division.2 At VV Spirit, De Vrij often played as a central midfielder, but at Feyenoord he got turned into a defender. The youngster developed himself rapidly. After playing for Feyenoord U15, De Vrij was one of the players to skip the U16 team to play in U17 immediately.2
On 17 July 2009, De Vrij signed his first professional contract with Feyenoord until summer 2012.3 De Vrij made his official debut for Feyenoord's first team on 24 September 2009. He replaced Leerdam in the 58th minute in the KNVB Cup away match against Harkemase Boys (0–5).4 On 6 December 2009, De Vrij made his Eredivisie debut in the home match against FC Groningen (3–1), when he replaced Denny Landzaat in the 89th minute.5 During the 2012–13 season, De Vrij replaced Ron Vlaar as team captain.6
De Vrij's strong development at Feyenoord didn't pass by unnoticed, as he quickly received his first invitation for a national youth team.2 On 21 November 2007, the Netherlands U16 won the friendly match against Ukraine U16 (1–0), with De Vrij's first appearance in the starting line-up.7
De Vrij was active on the 2009 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship in Germany. The Dutch team, aided by a strong contingent of seven Feyenoord players in the squad, finished second after losing the final to Germany in extra-time (2–1).8 De Vrij was paired up with Dico Koppers in central defense9 and participated in every match Oranje played, without getting substituted making a notable contribution.2 With a second place on the European Championship, the Netherlands U17 qualified for the 2009 FIFA U-17 World Cup in Nigeria.
On 7 May 2012, De Vrij was named in the provisional list of 36 players for the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament, one of nine uncapped players to be chosen by Netherlands manager Bert van Marwijk as part of the preliminary squad. He did not make the final cut. On 15 August 2012, De Vrij made his debut under new manager Louis van Gaal in the 4–2 loss against Belgium in a friendly match.
- Statistics accurate as of last match played on 13 May 2013.
- Thorbecke Sporttalent: 2009 10
- "uefa.com – UEFA European U-17 C'ship". UEFA. Retrieved 26 September 2009.dead link
- "Dromen van doorbraak: Stefan de Vrij (16) ontwikkelt zich bij Feyenoord en Oranje sterk" [Dreaming of breakthrough: Stefan de Vrij (16) develops strongly at Feyenoord and Oranje]. AD (in Dutch). 3 February 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
- "De Vrij tekent eerste profcontract" [De Vrij signs first prof contract]. Feyenoord.nl (in Dutch). 17 July 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
- "Feyenoord boekt onberispelijke zege in Friesland" [Flawless victory for Feyenoord in Friesland]. Feyenoord.nl (in Dutch). 21 November 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009.
- "Feyenoord via uitstekende tweede helft langs FC Groningen" [Feyenoord over FC Groningen thanks to excellent second half]. Feyenoord.nl (in Dutch). 6 December 2009. Retrieved 6 December 2009.
- "A host of Premier League clubs are chasing Dutch international Stefan De Vrij". Sky Sports. 18 December 2012.
- "Onder 16 wint eerste oefenduel" [Under 16 wins first friendly]. KNVB (in Dutch). 24 September 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2009.
- "Germany secure maiden U17 crown". UEFA. 18 May 2009. Retrieved 26 September 2009.dead link
- "Captain's guide: Netherlands". UEFA. 17 May 2009. Retrieved 30 September 2009.dead link
- "Stefan de Vrij Thorbecke Sporttalent 2009". Feyenoord.nl (in Dutch). 6 October 2009. Retrieved 6 October 2009.