Former Netherlands national team coach Bert van Marwijk says he is saddened by the plight of one of the Eredivisie finest talents Royston Drenthe.
Drenthe announced his retirement from football on Thursday at the tender age of 29, in order to focus on his rap career.
Once seen as one of the best left-sided players in the Dutch football, Drenthe’s plight as a professional is seen as one of the big losses to the national team and an indictment on the current state of The Oranje.
After bursting onto the scene as a teenager with Feyenoord and impressing in the 2007 UEFA Euro U21 Championship player, winning the Golden Player award – ahead of the likes of Branislav Ivanovic, Giorgio Chiellini and Jan Vertonghen – not much has gone right for the dreadlocked speedster.
Despite earning a dream 14 million euro move to Real Madrid after the tournament and earning a senior national team call-up, his career never really took off. After three inconsistent seasons at Los Blancos, Drenthe was loaned to Hercules and Everton.
Following a decent spell at the Toffees his career spiraled out of control taking him to Russia, the English Championship, Turkey and ultimately the UAE – where he earned his last contract at Baniyas.
“It’s always a shame when players with talent stop so young,” van Marwijk told De Telegraaf.
“I gave Royston his debut in Oranje. I saw in him a guy who had the potential to become a Roberto Carlos- or Marcelo-like left back. It is very unfortunate that is not true.”