Jaap Stam Profile
|Born||Jul 17, 1972|
Jaap Stam is a former footballer and was most recently the head coach of FC Cincinnati in Major League Soccer (MLS).
During his playing career, he played for FC Zwolle, SC Cambuur and Willem II before moving on to PSV Eindhoven. There, he caught the eye of Manchester United, where he arguably enjoyed the heyday of his career. Stam then enjoyed stints at Lazio, AC Milan and Ajax before hanging up his boots on October 29, 2007.
Starting out and starring for PSV Eindhoven
Stam made his professional breakthrough in 1992 at FC Zwolle, who then played in the Dutch Eerste Divisie (Dutch Second Division). He promptly earned a move to Eredivisie strugglers SC Cambuur, but suffered relegation with them.
In 1995, Stam moved to Willem II, where he was instrumental in the team which upset Ajax 1-0. He thus earned a transfer to PSV Eindhoven in January 1996 and was part of the squad which won the KNVB Cup - his first major trophy.
Stam was a key component of the PSV side which won the 1996/97 Eredivisie and Johan Cruyff Shield. The centre-back picked up the VVCS Footballer of the Year award.
In 1998, Manchester United signed Stam for a reported Â£10.6million, making him the most expensive Dutch footballer ever and the most expensive defender in history.
Moving to Manchester United
Stam's first season at Manchester United was the most successful in the Red Devils' history, 1998/99. He made a total of 51 appearances in all competitions, scoring once.
United won the Premier League, the FA Cup and the UEFA Champions League. They became European champions by coming back from 1-0 down in the dying embers of the Camp Nou final against Bayern Munich to win 2-1. Goals came courtesy of Teddy Sheringham and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer - both in added time. Stam played the full match at centre-back alongside Ronny Johnsen.
With Stam at the heart of defence, United once again stormed to the Premier League title in 1999/2000, winning it by a then-record 18 points. Once again, Stam made 51 appearances in all competitions.
In 2000/01, United once again won the Premier League title, but injury limited Stam's involvement in the team. At the beginning of the 2001/02 season, hewas sold to Lazio for a fee in the region of Â£16million - a decision which Sir Alex Ferguson later admitted he regretted.
There were reports that Ferguson and Stam had fallen out over comments Stam had made in his autobiography Head to Head, including that Ferguson had approached him illegally while he was at PSV, but Ferguson's account was that he felt he was making a decision in the interests of his team by letting Stam go, with Lazio having made an offer he "couldn't refuse".
"When I think of disappointments, obviously Jaap Stam was always a disappointment to me, I made a bad decision there," Ferguson said in an interview with MUTV in 2013.
Stam gave the Sunday Mirror a more detailed account of his departure from the Red Devils.
"I soon realised the club wanted to get rid of me. They also needed the money. Very soon the book became an issue again. It led to a conflict between me and the manager," he said.
"One morning I told him what I thought and left the training ground on the spot. On the way home I received a phone call in my car from Fergie's Âsecretary. She said that he wanted to speak to me. He came on the phone straightaway.
"Ferguson said: 'Where are you?'" I said: 'Close to my house, at a petrol Âstation.' Ferguson said: 'Wait there!' He jumped in his car and came straight to me.
"At the petrol station he parked his car and got in with me. He told me that I had to be transferred. Then he said: 'Will you please move to Lazio quickly?'
"I agreed to do it. Right there and then. One quick Âconversation in my car at a petrol station in Manchester was enough for me to leave that big club. When I think about it now, and I have never talked about it before, I find it unbelievable I let that, as a player, happen to me."
Jaap Stam and Lazio
Stam received a five-month ban for testing positive for the banned substance nandrolone in 2001, but it was reduced by a month on appeal.
Stam made a total of 94 appearances for Lazio in all competitions, scoring four goals, and won the 2003/04 Coppa Italia. After that season, he moved to Carlo Ancelotti's AC Milan, who at the time were champions of Italy.
AC Milan and back to the Netherlands
Stam spent two seasons on the books of AC Milan, scoring twice in 65 appearances for the Rossoneri. He was part of the Milan side which made the 2005 UEFA Champions League final, but surrendered a 3-0 lead to Liverpool in Istanbul and lost on penalties after a 3-3 draw.
Stam was a FIFPro World XI nominee in 2005 and won the 2004 Supercoppa Italiana with Milan, beating former club Lazio 3-0 after starting at centre-back alongside Alessandro Nesta, another former Lazio player.
Stam moved to Ajax in 2006 and won his second KNVB Cup in 2006/07. He also picked up the Johan Cruyff Shield again in 2006 and 2007. Early in the 2007/08 season, he retired from football.
International career with the Netherlands
Stam scored his first international goal in a 3-1 win over Belgium in 1998 World Cup qualifying. He was a key presence in the side which finished fourth at the tournament in France.
Once again, Stam made a semi-final with the Netherlands at UEFA Euro 2000, but his penalty struck the woodwork in a shootout against Italy, which Holland lost.
After Euro 2004, Stam retired from international football. He made 67 appearances for the Netherlands, scoring three goals.
Managerial career and FC Cincinnati
In 2009, Stam became an assistant coach at PEC Zwolle and later caretaker manager. In 2013, he joined Ajax as an assistant coach and defensive coach. In 2014, Stam and Andries Ulderink were appointed managers of Jong Ajax - the club's youth team, which has produced a host of international stars over the years.
Stam took over as manager of Reading in 2016, taking Ulderink with him to be his assistant. His appointment with the Royals proved to be a revelation in his first season at the club, leading Reading to the Championship play-offs in his first season. Unfortunately, a penalty shootout defeat to Huddersfield Town meant Stam and Reading missed out on Premier League football by a whisker. The results the following season showed a hangover from their previous run, and Stam left the club in March 2018 after a run of one win in 18 league matches.
He took over as manager of Feyenoord ahead of the 2019/20 season, but after a poor start, which included a 4-0 defeat to Ajax, Stam stepped aside on October 28, 2019.
On May 21, 2020, Stam became manager of FC Cincinnati. He was in charge at the club for 16 months. The two parted company on September 27, 2021, with Cincinnati having lost six of their previous seven games and sitting second bottom of both the Eastern Conference and overall MLS tables.
Reported net worth
Stam's precise net worth is unknown, but he was one of the players who signed a new contract with Manchester United around the time that the salaries of the highest-paid players reportedly doubled to around Â£100,000 per week as a result of United's profitability in the early 2000s.