Jaap Stam

Jakob "Jaap" Stam (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈjaːp ˈstɑm]; born 17 July 1972) is a Dutch professional football manager and former player who played as a centre-back. He was known for possessing "a rare combination of speed, strength and ball-playing ability",[3] as well as an excellent positional sense.[4] Due to his wide range of skills, in his prime he was also capable of playing as a full-back on the right flank.[5][6]

Jaap Stam
Personal information
Date of birth (1972-07-17) 17 July 1972[1]
Place of birth Kampen, Netherlands
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)[2]
Playing position Centre-back
Youth career
1988–1992 DOS Kampen
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1993 FC Zwolle 32 (1)
1993–1995 SC Cambuur 66 (3)
1995–1996 Willem II 19 (1)
1996–1998 PSV Eindhoven 76 (12)
1998–2001 Manchester United 79 (1)
2001–2004 Lazio 70 (3)
2004–2006 Milan 42 (1)
2006–2007 Ajax 31 (1)
Total 415 (23)
National team
1996–2004 Netherlands 67 (3)
Teams managed
2009 PEC Zwolle (caretaker)
2014–2016 Jong Ajax
2016–2018 Reading
2018–2019 PEC Zwolle
2019 Feyenoord
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Stam played for several European clubs including PSV Eindhoven, Manchester United, Lazio, Milan and Ajax before retiring in October 2007. As well as club trophies, he won several personal awards, including being voted the best defender in the 1998–99 and 1999–2000 UEFA Champions League.[7] Stam played 67 international matches for the Netherlands, scoring three goals. He was in their squads for three UEFA European Championships and the 1998 FIFA World Cup. After retiring as a player, Stam worked as a coach at PEC Zwolle and Ajax before making his managerial debut with Reading in 2016. He later managed Feyenoord in 2019.

Club career

Early career

Born in Kampen, Overijssel,[1] Stam started his career with local amateur football club DOS Kampen. On 15 August 1992, Stam made his professional debut for FC Zwolle in a 1–1 draw against SC Heracles in the Eerste Divisie. He became a first team regular right away and moved to Eredivisie club Cambuur Leeuwarden for the following season, but relegated in his first season which brought him back into the Eerste Divisie. Two seasons at Cambuur earned him a transfer to Eredivisie club Willem II. At Willem II, he immediately impressed at the Eredivisie level, which meant his final breakthrough. A shock 1–0 home victory over Ajax led to Stam's transfer to PSV Eindhoven in the same season in which they eventually won the KNVB Cup, his first professional trophy.


Stam was a key player for PSV in the 1996–97 season, as the team won the Eredivisie league championship and the Johan Cruyff Shield. Individually, Stam won the VVCS Footballer of the Year award.

In 1998, Stam became the then most expensive Dutch football player in history and the most expensive defender in history when Manchester United bought him for £10.6 million.

Manchester United

Stam spent three seasons at Manchester United, during which time United won three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, the Intercontinental Cup and the UEFA Champions League. He scored his only goal for the club in a 6–2 away victory against Leicester City.[8]

Early in the 2001–02 season, Stam was controversially sold to Lazio in Italy after Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was reportedly furious with allegations Stam had made in his autobiography Head to Head about himself and the club. Stam made numerous statements in the book about his views on opposing players, and notoriously alleged that Ferguson's approach to buy him was done without the permission of PSV.[9] Laurent Blanc was signed as his replacement.

In 2007, however, Ferguson described the decision to sell Stam as an error: "At the time he had just come back from an achilles injury and we thought he had just lost a little bit. We got the offer from Lazio, £16.5m for a centre back who was 29. It was an offer I couldn't refuse. But in playing terms it was a mistake. He is still playing for Ajax at a really good level."[10] On the financial report, Manchester United announced the fee was £15.3 million;[11] Lazio declared the fee was £16 million.[12]


During his time with Lazio, Stam was found guilty of having the banned steroid nandrolone in his system following a Serie A game,[13] and received a five-month ban, which was eventually reduced by a month after appeals.[14] He was the second Lazio player suspended in 2001, after Fernando Couto.

In his last season at the club, he won the Coppa Italia.


Stam joined Milan after UEFA Euro 2004. He reached his second Champions League final with the Rossoneri in 2005, but was a runner-up after his team was defeated by Liverpool in a penalty shoot-out.[15]


On 30 January 2006, it was announced that he would return to the Eredivisie and play for Ajax, where he signed a two-year contract for a €2.5 million transfer fee. Stam was named team captain upon his arrival at the club. In his first season, he won both the Johan Cruyff Shield and the KNVB Cup; another Johan Cruyff Shield was added to his trophies at the start of the 2007–08 season.

On 29 October 2007, Stam announced his retirement from professional football with immediate effect after playing six league games for Ajax in the 2007–08 league season. His final game was in a 0–0 draw against NEC on 20 October 2007.

International career

Stam made his debut for the Netherlands on 24 April 1996 in a 1–0 defeat to Germany. He was also an important player in the Dutch team that finished fourth in the 1998 FIFA World Cup.

During UEFA Euro 2000, he once again reached the semi-finals with the Dutch team, hosted in his home country and Belgium. Stam missed an important penalty kick in the penalty shoot-out in the semi-finals, which led to defeat against Italy.

Stam reached his third semi-finals in an international competition with his nation at Euro 2004 in Portugal and retired from international football after the tournament. The reason cited for his international retirement was that he wanted to focus on his new team, Milan, as well as his family.

In total, he played 67 matches for the Netherlands, scoring three goals.

Post-playing career

In October 2008, Stam returned to Manchester United as a scout for the club, responsible for most of South America.[16][17]

Soccer Aid

Stam has been involved with Soccer Aid, which puts celebrities and football legends together in two teams (England and Rest of the World) for a charity game in aid of UNICEF. Stam has appeared in five Soccer Aid matches 2008, 2012, 2014, 2016 and 2018.[18]

Coaching and managerial career

In 2009, Stam became an assistant coach for PEC Zwolle, and on 30 October was appointed caretaker manager.[19] Following his stint with Zwolle, Stam penned a three-year contract with Ajax in 2013 as an assistant coach, and as defensive coach starting in the 2013–14 Eredivisie season.[20] On 28 May 2014, Stam was revealed as one of the new managers of Jong Ajax, the reserve team in the Eerste Divisie. He was joined by Andries Ulderink and they signed a contract beginning on 1 July 2014 and lasting until 30 June 2016.[21][22]


On 13 June 2016, Stam was appointed as manager of English Championship club Reading on an initial two-year contract.[23] He enjoyed a successful first season with the club, leading them to the Championship play-offs. On 4 July 2017, Stam signed a new two-year contract extension with Reading, keeping him at the club until 2019.[24] On 21 March 2018, Reading announced that Stam had left the club with immediate effect following a run of one win in 18 league matches left the team 20th in the league table.[25]

PEC Zwolle

On 28 December 2018, Stam was appointed as the new manager of Eredivisie club PEC Zwolle on a year-and-a-half contract.[26]


On 6 March 2019, Feyenoord announced that Stam would succeed Giovanni van Bronckhorst as Feyenoord's new manager. He signed a two-year contract, effective 1 June 2019.[27] Following a 0–4 defeat to Ajax, Stam resigned on 28 October 2019, saying "I've thought about this for a long time. My final conclusion is that it's better for the club, the players and myself if I step aside."[28][29]

Career statistics



Club Season Division League Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals AppsGoals
Zwolle 1992–93 Eerste Divisie 321
Cambuur 1993–94 Eredivisie 331
1994–95 Eerste Divisie 332
Total 663
Willem II 1995–96 Eredivisie 191
PSV Eindhoven 1995–96 Eredivisie 141
1996–97 337
1997–98 294
Total 7612
Manchester United 1998–99 Premier League 301700013010511
1999–2000 330000013050510
2000–01 15010006010230
2001–02 100000001020
Total 7918000320801271
Lazio 2001–02 Serie A 131
2002–03 280
2003–04 292
Total 703
Milan 2004–05 Serie A 170201081281
2005–06 251300090371
Total 4215010171652
Ajax 2006–07 Eredivisie 251
2007–08 60
Total 311
Career total 41523



Netherlands senior team

Managerial statistics

As of match played 27 October 2019
Managerial record by team and tenure
Team From To Record Ref
Reading 13 June 2016 21 March 2018 98 40 23 35 040.8 [25][33]
PEC Zwolle 28 December 2018 31 May 2019 17 7 3 7 041.2 [33]
Feyenoord 1 June 2019 28 October 2019 18 7 6 5 038.9 [33]
Total 133 54 32 47 040.6



Manchester United






  • Stam, J., with Butler, J. (contrib.) (2002), Head to Head, Willow Publishing, ISBN 978-0-00-711709-3


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  4. "Shevchenko appannato, Passoni sempre lucido" [Shevchenko obfuscated, Passoni always lucid]. La Repubblica (in Italian). 12 September 2004. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  5. Enrico Currò (7 February 2005). "Shevchenko e Crespo San Siro tra brividi e gioia". La Repubblica (in Italian). Retrieved 1 February 2017.
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  15. "AC Milan 3–3 Liverpool (aet)". BBC Sport. 25 May 2005. Retrieved 15 April 2007.
  16. "Douglas advised to ignore European interest". Sky Sports. 15 October 2008. Retrieved 28 October 2008.
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