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Philip Cocu

Philip Cocu  
Complete Name: Philip John William Cocu
Nationality: Dutch
Place of Birth: Eindhoven, Holland
Date of Birth: 29/10/1970
Height: 184 cm
Weight: 74 kg
National Team: Holland
Current Club: PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands)
Position: Central Midfielder
 

Pictures

Picture 1 Picture 2 Picture 3

Club career history

AZ Alkmaar (Netherlands), Vitesse Arnhem (Netherlands), PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands), FC Barcelona (Spain), PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands)
 

Honours

1999 Spanish League Champion (FC Barcelona)
 

Biography

Philip Cocu (born October 29, 1970 in Eindhoven) is a Dutch football midfielder currently playing for PSV Eindhoven. He first started out playing football at amateur level with clubs like AFC '34 and DCS Zevenaar. He signed his first professional contract with AZ Alkmaar in the 1988/1989 season when he was only 17 years old. After an encouraging start at the club, he signed on at Vitesse Arnhem in 1990.

His career at Vitesse was blighted by him breaking his right leg in his first game against Sparta Rotterdam. After fully recovering in 1992, his talents were finally recognised, as he assisted his club into gaining promotion into the UEFA Cup competition as well as a top five finish in the Eredivisie. Ajax Amsterdam tried to sign him twice when he was at Vitesse but it was Dick Advocaat who signed him for PSV Eindhoven in 1995. Dick Advocaat himself was appointed the coach of Netherlands in the previous year for the World Cup 1994 where the 'Oranje' lost at the quarter-final stage against Brazil.

It was at PSV that Cocu finally got called-up to the national squad and he was handed his debut on 24 April 1996 against Germany and was even selected in the Dutch national team for the Euro 1996 tournament. During his tenure at PSV, he won many Eredivisie titles but did not enjoy the same success in European cup competitions. His international team colleagues such as Jaap Stam, Arthur Numan, Boudewijn Zenden all form the core of the PSV squad although he was also teammate of Ronaldo.

Cocu was also selected by Guus Hiddink for the World Cup 1998 in France where he scored two goals in the group stage. It proved to be another disappointing campaign for the Dutch team as they bowed out against Brazil in the semi-final, albeit by penalties when both of the fiercely competitive sides square off in a 1-1 draw at full-time after the golden goal. For Cocu, his disappointment was further heightened as he missed his penalty kick and Brazilian goalkeeper Claudio Taffarel saved his weak shot as well as Ronald de Boer's spotkick. The Brazilians converted all of their available chances and set up a final set-up with France. To be fair, he was chosen to play in almost all the positions except goalkeeper and forward in that tournament and he played well. An example would be in the semi-final against Brazil where he filled in the left defence spot as incumbent Arthur Numan was suspended and substitute Winston Bogarde was injured and was a match for the Brazilian fowards.

Having played some of his finest football at PSV, he jumped at the opportunity to move on, this time with Primera Liga giants FC Barcelona in 1998. Louis van Gaal who coached Barcelona at that time also signed many Dutch World Cup players such as Frank de Boer, Ronald de Boer, Patrick Kluivert, Boudewijn Zenden, as well as Marc Overmars and the Spanish team was soon nicknamed 'Ajax Barcelona'. Not surprisingly, Barcelona won the Primera Liga in that season.

While many players were offloaded as is the case of the de Boer brothers and Boudewijn Zenden, Cocu managed to stay on at Barcelona for six seasons and defended his defensive midfield position. At the international level, he represented his country in the Euro 2000 tournament on home ground and also played in the Euro 2004 in Portugal. His international tally is 87 caps and 8 goals.

Cocu left FC Barcelona before the start of the Euro 2004 for his old club PSV Eindhoven and has vowed to put the Euro 2004 defeat behind him and would continue to represent his country in future matches as he was named team captain after the retirement of Frank de Boer.
 

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