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Top facts about Gregory van der Wiel, former PSG defender

Sat 14 May 2022 | 4:30

Gregory van der Wiel made his national team debut in February 2009, and played in the Netherlands' second-place finish at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. Read on to find out more facts about Gregory van der Wiel.

Gregory Kurtley van der Wiel (born 3 February 1988) is a former right-back for the Dutch national team. Van der Wiel is a product of the AFC Ajax development system and was born in Amsterdam.

Gregory van der Wiel’s age

is 34.

John Heitinga

, a Dutch teammate, has dubbed him the "spiritual successor" to

Michael Reiziger

.

In 2010, he received the Johan Cruyff Award in the Netherlands for "Young Player of the Year." He's also played for PSG, Fenerbahçe, Cagliari, and Toronto FC, among others.

Van der Wiel was born in Amsterdam to a Dutch-Antillean father from Curaçao and a Dutch mother. Layla, Ambar, and Hind are his three younger sisters.

"I believe in God, but not in faith," he answered when questioned about his beliefs. "My superstition is something I keep to myself." Van der Wiel is friends with Hurşut Meriç, whom he grew up with in Amsterdam, and Jan-Arie van der Heijden, whom he met during their Ajax days.

He moved on from Ajax to Jong Ajax. Here, he rose to captaincy and was soon promoted to the first team. On 11 March 2007, he made his debut in an away match against FC Twente.

Top facts about Gregory van der Wiel:

An important fact about Gregory van der Wiel is that he took over for the injured captain Jaap Stam. This was near the end of the current season, and Van der Wiel had played four games in which he did not score a goal.

During the 2007/2008 season, Van der Wiel appeared in a few games as a fill-in. He played six games and failed to score once more. His talent, however, was becoming more widely recognized. Van der Wiel became a regular the following season.

He didn't score his first goal until 2009, against FC Utrecht. He made such an impression in his matches with the first team that

Ajax

extended his contract until mid-2013. Van der Wiel scored twice in 32 games that season.

He was also a first-team regular at the start of the 2009/10 season. Van der Wiel was the only field player in the Eredivisie who did not miss a single minute during the 2009-2010 season.

Gregory van der Wiel early life

Speaking about

Gregory van der Wiel’s parents

, it is worth mentioning that he was born in Curaçao to a Curaçaoan father and a Dutch mother. He began playing football at DCG. At the age of seven, he was scouted by Ajax. Van der Wiel was a member of Ajax's youth academy.

Regarding

Gregory van der Wiel’s childhood

, it should be mentioned that he left for Haarlem, with whom the Amsterdam-based club had a partnership, in June 2002. Because of his negative attitude, the Amsterdam team expelled him. Van der Wiel exacted his vengeance by returning to the old nest in 2005 and joining the Ajax A1.

Gregory van der Wiel personal life

Van der Wiel contributed money to support Dutch team HFC Haarlem with their financial issues in November 2009.

His efforts, however, were in vain, and the club filed bankruptcy on January 25, 2010. The Johan Cruyff Foundation later dedicated a "Cruyff Court" in Van der Wiel's honor in 2010. The court was created in the Sapaté region of Curaçao, where Van der Wiel's family originates from, and it was formally inaugurated on June 15, 2011.

Van der Wiel was a victim of burglary in August 2015, when criminals got into his flat and took his high-end timepieces.

After Van der Wiel granted him $4.5 million in May 2017, he disclosed he was a victim of a fraud by businessman Ümit Akbulut.

Van der Wiel reminisced on the event after joining Toronto FC, "I met someone powerful there, and I wanted to invest some money, which I'm still doing to this day. I prefer to do stuff on the side of football to save money, but this was not a good decision. I put my confidence in someone and never received my money back."

Van der Wiel resided in Los Angeles with his girlfriend, Belgian model Rose Bertram. Naleya Rose, their daughter, was born on February 24, 2018 in Toronto.

Van der Wiel talked about mental health in November 2020, after suffering from panic attacks and anxiety for over a year.

Gregory van der Wiel professional career

The number of goals Gregory van der Wiel has scored thus far is impressive. With six goals, he tied FC Groningen defender Andreas Granqvist. In 34 games, he scored six times. He was named 'Talent of the Year' at the end of that season.

Now that he was a regular customer of Ajax and the Dutch national team, Ajax reached a transfer agreement with

FC Bayern Munich

. Ultimately, the Germans decided against it. As a result, Van der Wiel remained with Ajax.

In the 2010/2011 season, Van der Wiel was also a lock. Following the World Cup, the right back had a slightly less productive period. With Ajax, he won the title.

Injuries plagued the following season. His contract with Ajax expired in the middle of 2013, which is why the Amsterdam club put him up for sale.

On September 1, 2012, Van der Wiel announced his transfer from Ajax to Paris Saint-Germain. He'd come here to play with shirt number 23. Van der Wiel made his PSG debut on September 22, 2012, in an away match against SC Bastia (0-4). He stayed in the backfield the entire game.

Van der Wiel has to put up with Captain Christophe Jallet, who is also a right back, in most games. Van der Wiel made his European debut for Paris Saint-Germain in a UEFA Champions League match against

FC Porto

on October 3, 2012.

Gregory van der Wiel club career

A notable

fact about Gregory van der Wiel

is that he began his career as a player with RKSV DCG in Amsterdam. AFC Ajax discovered the young defender at the age of seven and took him to the Ajax Academy at "De Toekomst." Ajax loaned the youngster to HFC Haarlem in 2002 because he had a "mentality issue."

Ajax contacted him again in 2005, and he returned to the Academy. His second stay with the club was even more fruitful, culminating in him obtaining his first professional deal, which began in July 2006. Van der Wiel was named captain of Jong Ajax after the departure of young captain Donovan Slijngard.

Ajax

A notable fact about Gregory van der Wiel is that he made his professional debut for Ajax on March 11, 2007, when he came in as a substitute for Jaap Stam in a 4–1 away victory over Twente.

That season, he would play three more games. Van der Wiel signed a four-year deal with the club at the conclusion of the 2006–07 season, which will keep him with the club until 2011.

Van der Wiel played in the 1–0 triumph against PSV in the fight for the Johan Cruyff Shield at the opening of the 2007–08 season, earning his first career trophy.

Henk ten Cate hailed his play in a 1–0 victory against

Dinamo Zagreb

in the first round of the UEFA Cup on September 20, 2007. He missed the most of the 2007–08 season due to a knee injury.

In the 2008–09 season, Van der Wiel recovered from a knee injury in time for the new season, and he hoped to replace John Heitinga, who left for Atlético Madrid in La Liga during the summer.

Van der Wiel reclaimed his starting spot at the club after returning from injury, playing in the right-back position. Due to a midfielder shortage, he was forced to play in midfield at one time.

On 28 January 2009, he signed a contract extension with the club that would keep him at the club until 2013. On March 1, 2009, he scored his first goal for the club in a 2–0 victory against Utrecht. He was named AFC Ajax's Talent of the Year for his efforts in the 2008–09 season.

Van der Wiel changed his jersey number from 15 to 2 before of the 2009–10 season.

Manchester City

, who play in the Premier League, were impressed with his performance. In a 1–0 victory against AZ on January 24, 2010, he scored his fourth goal of the season.

Between 3 February 2010 and 7 March 2010, he helped the club maintain six clean sheets for the second time.

Van der Wiel started both legs of the 2009–10 KNVBCup final as his team defeated Feyenoord 4–2 to win the competition. He received the Johan Cruijff Award for "Young Player of the Year" for his efforts throughout the season.

Van der Wiel was in discussions to join Louis van Gaal's Bayern Munich after the 2010 World Cup.  However, Ajax was unable to reach an agreement.

Van der Wiel had another excellent season in 2010–11, as he remained in the first team under new manager Frank de Boer.

Despite significant difficulties, Van der Wiel was able to reclaim his starting right-back position. In the January transfer window, he was linked with moves to Manchester City and Barcelona, but he halted the speculation by announcing his wish to remain at the club.

He began the KNVB Cup final against FC Twente in the right back position and played 91 minutes before being replaced, with the club match 3–2. Van der Wiel experienced groin injuries twice during the 2011–12 season, causing him to miss time. After a two-month layoff, he resumed to training.

A notable fact about Gregory van der Wiel is that he was linked with a transfer away from Ajax before of the 2012–13 season, and he made it known in January 2012 that he was not interested in signing a new deal with the club. He was unable to obtain the Johan Cruyff Shield.

Van der Wiel hinted at his departure from Ajax after a 5–0 win over NAC Breda on August 25, 2012, in what was his final appearance for the club.

Van der Wiel's departure became inevitable as Ajax decided to transfer him to Paris Saint-Germain of the French Ligue 1.

Paris Saint-Germain

Van der Wiel joined Paris Saint-Germain for a rumoured €6 million transfer fee on September 1, 2012. Two days later, he was given the number 23 jersey and signed a four-year deal that would keep him with the team until 2016.

Van der Wiel made his PSG debut on September 22, 2012, in a 0–4 win against Bastia. Van der Wiel played the whole 90 minutes at right-back.

Van der Wiel spent the most of his first season in France as a replacement for PSG captain Christophe Jallet, the team's first-choice right-back.

Van der Wiel made his UEFA Champions League debut for Paris in the 2012–13 match, when he was replaced for Jallet in the 66th minute of a 1–0 away defeat to Porto.

Van der Wiel scored his first PSG goal in the 0–4 away victory against

Toulouse

, which was the match's last goal.

PSG became French champions on May 12, 2013, when they defeated Lyon 1–0 at home to clinch the 2013–14 Ligue 1 title, marking the club's third national triumph. For the entirety of the title-clinching match, Van der Wiel sat on the bench as a substitute.

At the start of the 2013–14 season, Van der Wiel was connected a transfer away from the club, as Italian Serie A team Internazionale were interested in signing him.

Despite the fact that a move was never completed, he stayed at the club and was pitted against Christophe Jallet at right-back. As a consequence, Van der Wiel and Jallet often switched roles.

He was injured on two occasions at the conclusion of the season. He was named to the L'Equipe Team of the Year for 2013 after earning first-team status at PSG.

Van der Wiel played the full match in the Trophée des Champions, a 2–0 PSG victory against Guingamp, at the start of the 2014–15 season.

Van der Wiel continued to play right-back when Christophe Jallet moved to Lyon, albeit he faced fresh competition in the form of new recruits Serge Aurier and Jordan Ikoko, who regularly pushed him to the bench.

Van der Wiel helped PSG win the domestic treble: Ligue 1, Coupe de France, and Coupe de la Ligue before the conclusion of the season.

During the 2015–16 season, Van der Wiel was often used as a replacement at right-back, behind

Serge Aurier

and Marquinhos.

In the early part of the season, he was also dealing with his own injury issues. He helped the team win the domestic Treble for the third time: Ligue 1, Coupe de France, and Coupe de la Ligue.

Van der Wiel's contract with PSG ended on May 15, 2016, and it was reported that he would leave at the conclusion of the season. This was disclosed after he admitted that staying at the club would be tough.

Fenerbahçe

A notable

fact about Gregory van der Wiel

is that he joined Turkish giants

Fenerbahçe

after leaving Paris Saint-Germain, signing a three-year deal with an option to extend for another year. When he first joined the club, he was accompanied by his countryman

Robin van Persie

.

Van der Wiel made his Fenerbahçe debut in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round on July 27, 2016, when he set up a goal for Emmanuel Emenike in a 2–1 home victory against Monaco.

However, after a 3–1 away loss in the second leg, the team was knocked out of the tournament. He subsequently made his Fenerbahçe debut on August 21, 2016, in the 2016–17 Süper Lig season's first match, a 1–0 defeat against Istanbul Başakşehir, where he started the full match.

Due to his lack of first-team appearances at the club, manager Dick Advocaat expressed interest in selling him in January, but no deal was reached, and he stayed until the conclusion of the season.

Van der Wiel made 12 league appearances for Fenerbahçe and 17 overall for the club. Due to injuries and suspensions during the 2016–17 season, this was the case.

Cagliari

Van der Wiel signed Italian club Cagliari on August 25, 2017, after just one season with Fenerbahçe. As a result, he became the club's first Dutchman to sign a contract.

The Sardinian team gave him the number 2 jersey. After missing the first six matches of the season due to injury, he made his debut in a 3–2 home defeat to Genoa on October 15.

Despite his comeback from injury, he struggled to get playing time in the first part of the season, in all, only made six appearances throughout all competitions.

Toronto FC

Van der Wiel joined Major League Soccer (MLS) team Toronto FC on February 1, 2018. During his initial news conference after joining the club, he was given the number 9 jersey. On March 3, he made his club debut in the MLS season's first match, a 2–0 home loss to Columbus Crew.

Despite difficulties that forced him to miss time, Van der Wiel established himself as a regular starter for the side.

After the series was tied 3–3 on aggregate, he participated in both legs of the 2018 CONCACAF Champions League Final against Chivas Guadalajara, which Toronto ultimately lost 4–2 in a penalty shoot-out.

A notable fact about Gregory van der Wiel is that he spent the season in a variety of positions for the team, including centre-back, left-back, and right-midfield.

However, he spent the most of the season as a right-back. After a confrontation with Coach Greg Vanney during a preseason training session in Los Angeles on January 23, 2019, Van der Wiel was terminated. By mutual agreement, he was released by the club on March 22, 2019.

Van der Wiel started training with Eredivisie team RKC Waalwijk on August 6, 2020. After being a free agent for a year, he said again that he wanted to continue playing football. As a consequence, Van der Wiel was on trial with the club for many months.

Gregory van der Wiel international career

Van der Wiel has been capped at the under-21 level and competed in the 2007 Toulon Tournament after previously represented the Netherlands under-19 national team.

Despite recovering from his knee injury, Van der Wiel was left upset and critical of manager Foppe de Haan's decision to leave him out of the final Dutch team for the Olympic Games in Beijing. Van der Wiel made two further appearances for the under-21 side in 2008.

Van der Wiel was originally named to the Netherlands' B-team squad for a match against Sweden's national under-21 team in November 2008. Due to a groin injury received during training, he was replaced by Rens van Eijden.

Van der Wiel was called up to the senior Dutch squad for the first time on February 6, 2009. On 11 February, he made his official debut in a friendly match against Tunisia as a replacement for old Ajax teammate John Heitinga.

On March 28, 2009, he made his competitive debut as a starter in a 3–0 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying win against

Scotland

. On April 1, 2009, he played the full match in a 4–0 World Cup qualifying win against Macedonia.

Van der Wiel was involved in a controversy in October 2009 when he was unable to go with the Dutch team to Australia for a friendly match owing to a concussion he received while playing for Ajax.

Van der Wiel, on the other hand, afterwards went to a Lil Wayne event and tweeted a photo of himself with the rapper.

Several important personalities in Dutch football have criticized the player, including Dutch coach Bert van Marwijk, who stated, "It's very surprising that he was permitted to travel to a concert, considering that he informed me that the Ajax medical department had not authorized him to fly."

Ajax manager Martin Jol defended the player, claiming that the event was exaggerated by the media and that it should not be seen as a lack of respect for the Dutch national team on his side.

Van der Wiel was a key player in the Netherlands' 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign, competing for the starting right-back position alongside John Heitinga.

Van der Wiel was picked to the 23-man team by manager Bert van Marwijk after the Netherlands qualified for the tournament proper. Prior to it, he strived towards his objective of being selected for the World Cup team.

The player started both of the team's first two matches in the campaign, a 2–0 win over Denmark and a 1–0 win over Japan. Van der Wiel returned to the starting lineup for the round of 16 match against Slovakia on June 28, 2010, after missing two matches.

Van der Wiel claimed after the match that he was displeased with his performance and that it was his "least match so far," despite the fact that he was afraid about collecting a second yellow card.

Van der Wiel also played in the quarter-final against Brazil, which the Dutch won 2–1 to go to the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since 1998.

He was, however, suspended for the semi-final for the second time in the competition after being booked for the second time. He admitted his error in earning the yellow card after the match.

Van der Wiel was recalled to the team for the final against

Spain

, where he started and played the whole 120 minutes as the Dutch were defeated by Andrés Iniesta's late goal in extra time. During the World Cup, Van der Wiel made four appearances in total.

For the Netherlands' UEFA Euro 2012 qualification Group E matches, Van der Wiel was Bert van Marwijk's first choice right-back.

He got the Oranje off to a good start in qualifying when he set up

Ruud van Nistelrooy

for the Netherlands' fifth goal in a 5–0 triumph against San Marino on matchday one.

Van der Wiel also helped the Netherlands overcome Hungary on March 25, 2011, by setting up two goals for Robin van Persie and Ibrahim Afellay. On September 2, 2011, he made his 25th international appearance in an 11–0 triumph against San Marino.

Van der Wiel was picked to Van Marjiwk's 23-man team for the final event in Poland and Ukraine in late May 2012.

Van der Wiel, on the other hand, was heavily chastised for his performances at Euro 2012, particularly a back-pass against Portugal in the first half that offered Hélder Postiga with a clean sight of goal, which Postiga squandered.

Despite his desire to compete for his spot in the squad, Van der Wiel was seldom seen with the appointment of new Dutch team manager Louis van Gaal after Euro 2012.

He was recalled for the first time in November 2013, and played his first match since Euro 2012, starting and playing the full match at right-back in a 0–0 draw with Colombia on November 19, 2013.

Van der Wiel, however, was left out of the 23-man Dutch team for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil owing to an injury received at Paris Saint-Germain at the conclusion of the 2013–14 season. Van der Wiel responded from the World Cup by saying it didn't work out owing to his chronic ailments.

Gregory van der Wiel style of play

Van der Wiel is a versatile defender who mainly plays as an offensive right-back or wing-back. He is recognized for his quick runs down the side, as well as his defensive qualities, ball handling ability, and distribution. He can also play as a wide midfielder on either flank or even as a center defender.

Some more facts about Gregory van der Wiel:

An important fact about Gregory van der Wiel is that he was replaced by Jallet in the 66th minute after the match ended 1-0. Van der Wiel scored his first goal for Paris Saint-Germain on February 1, 2013. He scored the 0-4 away goal against Toulouse FC, which was also the final score.

He reached the quarter-finals of the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League with

Paris Saint-Germain

, but the French were eliminated by FC Barcelona.

Van der Wiel came on in the 88th minute of the second match at Camp Nou, which ended in a 1-1 match. He did not participate in the first game. Van der Wiel appeared in five UEFA Champions League games for PSG during the 2012–13 season.

Paris Saint-Germain won the French championship on May 12, 2013. Away from Olympique Lyonnais, the club's third title was secured with a 1-0 victory. Van der Wiel sat on the bench throughout the match.

His second season with PSG was much more successful. Van der Wiel earned a starting spot and was named to the 2013 L'equipe All-Star team. Readers of the newspaper also chose him for the star team. Van der Wiel made his 50th appearance for Paris Saint-Germain on January 19, 2014, in a 5-0 victory over

FC Nantes

at home.

During the 2015/16 season, Van der Wiel was far from assured of a starting spot. In Ligue 1, he made 17 appearances. On May 14, 2016, it was announced that Van der Wiel would not receive a new contract and would thus be free to join a new club.

Van der Wiel signed a contract with Fenerbahçe SK, Turkey's second-best team the previous season, in July 2016.

Van der Wiel made his Fenerbahçe debut in the third qualifying round of the Champions League on July 27, 2016. Fenerbahçe had a home game against AS Monaco on that day, which they won 2-1. Van der Wiel assisted on Emmanuel Emenike's 2-1 goal. He was replaced in stoppage time by Miroslav Stoch.

Van der Wiel signed a contract extension with Cagliari, the previous season's Serie A number eleven, in August 2017.

On February 1, 2018, Van der Wiel signed a contract with Toronto FC. Van der Wiel led this team to the CONCACAF Champions League final in 2018. Chivas Guadalajara eventually lost on penalties. Van der Wiel left Toronto in January 2019 after a disagreement with his trainer.

He relocated to Los Angeles and attempted to enforce a contract with one of the city's clubs. Van der Wiel announced his retirement as a professional football player in August 2019 at the age of 31. The former Ajax right back wishes to concentrate on his career as a businessman and entrepreneur.

An important fact about Gregory van der Wiel is that he unexpectedly returned to professional football in August 2020, joining the RKC Waalwijk squad.

He was open about the anxiety complaints he had received since the abrupt end of his career, as well as the loss of structure and purpose. He announced the end of his professional career in October 2021.

Van der Wiel made his international debut for the Dutch national team on 11 February 2009, coming on as a substitute for John Heitinga in the 84th minute against Tunisia.

On March 28, 2009, he made his debut for the Dutch national team in a 3-0 win over Scotland. He stayed in the match the entire time.

Van der Wiel rose through the ranks of the Dutch national team to become a regular right back. He played in the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where he reached the final at the age of 22, and the 2012 European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

Van der Wiel was included in a (pre)selection of the Dutch national team by new national coach Louis van Gaal on September 25, 2013, for the first time since the European Championship 2012 and since his departure to Paris Saint-Germain.

Van der Wiel was also included in the final selection, according to van Gaal's announcement on October 4, 2013. Due to an injury, he was forced to retire. Van der Wiel was then recalled by Van Gaal for the November 15 and 19, 2013 international games against Japan and Colombia.

An important

fact about Gregory van der Wiel

is that he made his Van Gaal debut on November 19, 2013, more than a year after his last international appearance. He played the entire game against

Colombia

at home, which ended 0-0.

Van Gaal announced on May 13, 2014, that he would not be taking Van der Wiel to the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. This was due to a knee injury that Van der Wiel was dealing with.

The aftermath of Van der Wiel's concussion suffered on October 4, 2009 during an Ajax away match against Roda JC caused some uproar.

Ajax's club doctor forbade Van der Wiel from flying. As a result, he was unable to travel to Australia for a Dutch national team exhibition game. However, on the early morning of October 7, Van der Wiel posted on his Twitter page that he had attended a rap concert by rapper Lil' Wayne.

He also included a photo of himself posing with the rapper with this message. When confronted with the news, national coach Bert van Marwijk stated, "Ajax's club doctor refused to let him fly.

I'm not a doctor, so who am I to speak on the subject? But it's odd that he's at a concert. I should have a quiet talk with him about it when we return to the Netherlands; until then, I can't say much."

Van der Wiel announced in May 2017 that he had been defrauded of 4.5 million US dollars. Rose Bertram, a Belgian model, is in a relationship with Van der Wiel (1994). They have two daughters (2018 and 2021).

Gregory van der Wiel social media

Regarding

Gregory van der Wiel social media

, it should be mentioned that he has an Instagram page (

@gregoryvanderwiel

) with more than 820k followers. On the page, we can see various pictures of him along with his fans and family.

Gregory van der Wiel body measurements

Speaking about

Gregory van der Wiel body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the former player is 183cm and 71kg.

Gregory van der Wiel net worth and salary

Gregory van der Wiel's net worth

is estimated to be around $20 million, according to Wikipedia, Forbes, and Business Insider.

 

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