Ed de Goey: Blue & Oranje

Ed de Goey: Blue & Oranje

Player Profile: Ed de Goey

Date of Birth: 20/12/1966

Height: 1.98 m

Position: Goalkeeper

National Team: The Netherlands

International Caps: 31

International Goals: 0

Club Career

While he was never quite considered amongst the elite in his position, Ed de Goey had a decorated playing career, achieving success at home and abroad. His standing in the game is perhaps best illustrated by his time at Chelsea. The Dutchman was a mainstay between the posts at the club before the Roman Abramovich takeover, but once the big names (and money) started rolling in he was deemed surplus to requirements. 

The goalkeeper began his career at Eredivisie club Sparta Rotterdam where he broke into the first-team in the 1985/86 season. Over his five years at the club, de Goey helped establish the side as a mid-table club. His strong performances began to attract the attention of other clubs, including Rotterdam’s ‘big’ team Feyenoord, and he eventually signed for Sparta’s cross-city rivals in 1990. 

His first season at De Kuip was not all that successful, with Feyenoord finishing a lowly eighth in the league. But de Goey didn’t end the season empty-handed, as Feyenoord lifted the KNVB Cup which was to be his first piece of silverware.

That was not his only success with the club though. De Goey’s best season with Feyenoord came the following year. In the 1992/93 season, his Feyenoord side went on to lift the Dutch Eredivisie title. The next season de Goey was awarded the Dutch Golden Shoe — a prize awarded by newspaper De Telegraaf and football magazine Voetbal International for the best footballer of the year in the domestic competition.

By the start of the 1997/98 season, de Goey had begun attracting interest from abroad. Eventually, it was English club Chelsea who won the race for the Dutchman’s signature, spending £2,250,000 to acquire his services. De Goey’s time at Feyenoord had been fruitful — he won the league once and the KNVB Cup four times — but now it was time to test himself at a higher level.

De Goey slotted straight in as the Blues’ first-choice goalkeeper, first under Ruud Gullit who had signed him and then under player-manager Gianluca Vialli, who had replaced Gullit after he was sacked. 

It was to be a historic season Chelsea and de Goey. The club finished fourth in the Premier League and lifted both the League Cup and European Cup Winner’s Cup

The following season also proved to be eventful. Gianfranco Zola’s brilliant form enabled the London club to mount a serious title challenge for most of the season. De Goey also played his part as Chelsea conceded fewer goals than eventual title-winners Manchester United. Chelsea ended up finishing third behind United and Arsenal, missing out on the title by just four points. Despite a disappointing end to the Premier League campaign, Chelsea did manage to lift the FA Cup that season.

Ed de Goey continued his good form into the following season as Chelsea ended up conceding fewer goals than anyone bar Liverpool, who finished a spot above them in fourth. Chelsea also had a terrific run in their inaugural Champions League campaign, reaching the quarterfinals. 

They held Italian giants AC Milan twice in the first group phase. In the second round, de Goey came up against his former side Feyenoord as the Blues beat them both home and away. In the quarters, the Blues had high hopes of a famous victory after beating Barcelona 3-1 at home in the first leg. However, a 1-5 defeat in the second leg meant Chelsea bowed out of the competition.

The next season saw Vialli replaced by Claudio Ranieri after a poor start to the season and that was the beginning of the end for de Goey. The Italian preferred Carlo Cudicini between the posts and then signed Mark Bosnich too, essentially making de Goey the third choice. He would stick around for two more seasons, before leaving for second-tier side Stoke City. After three seasons with the Potters, he called time on his 20-year career.

International Career

Ed de Goey made 31 appearances for the Netherlands in an international career that spanned seven years. He made his debut in 1992 in a World Cup qualification match against Turkey. 

By the time the 1994 World Cup came around, he had established himself as the Oranje’s first-choice goalkeeper. De Goey went on to play every minute of the tournament as the Dutch reached the quarterfinal stage before bowing out to eventual champions Brazil.

While the Dutch breezed through the group stage of the tournament, De Goey himself had some ordinary outings, failing to keep a single clean sheet in the opening round. Among others, he conceded goals to minnows Saudi Arabia.

That changed in the Round of 16 though as he kept a clean sheet against Ireland, as the Netherlands won 2-0. However, de Goey was no match for Brazil’s brilliant attackers in the quarters. A Romario goal and a Bebeto double saw the Dutch lose the game 3-2 and they bowed out of the competition.

With the emergence of Edwin van der Sar, de Goey began finding national team opportunities hard to come. Of his 31 international caps, 23 came in the first three years. Although he was part of the Dutch squad at Euro 96, he had been demoted to the status of a second-choice goalkeeper and did not start a single match.

His final appearance for the Dutch came in 1998 when he started a friendly against Paraguay. Later that year, he made the 1998 World Cup squad but spent the entire tournament on the bench. Two years later, the same fate befell him as he was called up to the Dutch team for Euro 2000, only to once again spend the entire tournament as an unused substitute.

Where is Ed de Goey now?

After retirement from football, Ed de Goey embarked on a coaching career after obtaining his UEFA Pro coaching license. He initially went back to his former club Chelsea where he worked with the first-team goalkeepers.

In 2007, de Goey joined former Aston Villa coach John Gregory at Queen’s Park Rangers, where he signed on as a first-team coach. That stint did not last long though, and just five months later de Goey had his contract terminated by QPR chairman Gianni Paladini. 

He stayed out of the game for three years but returned as a goalkeeping coach for Dutch outfit RKC Walwijk. De Goey stayed there for four years and left in 2014. He also worked as a goalkeeping coach for DHC Delft, who play in the fourth division of Dutch football.

De Goey now runs a goalkeeping school in the town of Berkel where he lives. According to him, many Dutch clubs, including his former clubs Feyenoord and Sparta Rotterdam keep tabs on the prospects at his academy. He also makes the occasional media appearance, often talking about his former club Chelsea.

 Did you know? Interesting facts about Ed de Goey

 – De Goey was part of the first-ever Chelsea team to play in the Champions League.

– He had an impressive record of not missing matches throughout his career. De Goey missed only eight games in seven years at Feyenoord, and once held the record for most matches played in a season for Chelsea.