Wednesday, 12 Jun 2024

Stefan De Vrij: The Journey of a Defensive Stalwart

As one of the latest versions of Stefan De Vrij’s biography, this article takes an exciting journey through the life and career of the experienced Dutch defender. From his early days at Feyenoord to his role in Inter Milan’s journey to the UEFA Champions League final last season, Stefan De Vrij’s stats have consistently displayed his defensive abilities. Notably, his synergy with defensive stalwarts Virgil van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt in the Netherlands national team has been crucial in recent years. Stefan De Vrij’s life story and career have captured attention for his consistency and accomplishments.

Everything to know about Stefan De Vrij

Stefan De Vrij Biography
© Getty Images

Prior to joining Inter Milan, Stefan De Vrij faced a challenging path. However, this section of Stefan De Vrij’s biography aims to provide his essential background information. Notably, Stefan De Vrij’s real name is solely Stefan De Vrij, without any middle name.

Stefan De Vrij Information

  • Full Name: Stefan De Vrij
  • Nickname: The Wall
  • Profession: Football Player

Physical Stats

  • Height: 189 cm (6 ft 2 in)
  • Eye Color: Brown
  • Hair Color: Dark Brown
  • Weight: 78 kg

Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 5 February 1992
  • Birthplace: Ouderkerk aan den Ijssel, Netherlands
  • Nationality: Dutch

Football Information

  • Position: Centre Back
  • Professional Debut: 6 December 2009
  • Jersey Number: 6

Stefan De Vrij Early Life

The in-depth exploration of Stefan De Vrij’s biography begins with his early life. De Vrij’s formative years were spent in Ouderkerk aan den IJssel, where his football journey began to take shape. Additionally, nurtured within the embrace of Stefan De Vrij’s family, his love for the game flourished from an early age. He is the youngest son of Jan de Vrij, who himself had a stint playing for the local club VV Spirit. It was at this very club that Stefan de Vrij’s love for football ignited, laying the foundation for his remarkable career.

Despite coming from a football-centric family, his older brothers Niels and Eric, while also dabbling in the sport during their youth, eventually ventured into different career paths, carving unique trajectories for themselves. These early experiences undoubtedly played a pivotal role in shaping Stefan de Vrij’s deep-rooted passion for the game which would carry him to great heights in the world of football.

Stefan De Vrij Club Career

Stefan De Vrij Biography
© Matteo Ciambelli/DeFodi via Getty Images

This segment of Stefan De Vrij’s biography delves deep into the professional life of the Dutch defender at the club level.


Stefan De Vrij Biography
© Pim Ras fotografie

Youth Team

Stefan De Vrij’s journey to professional football began in his hometown of Ouderkerk aan den IJssel, where he played for VV Spirit for five seasons. At the tender age of 10, he participated in a Feyenoord talent day, catching the eye of talent scouts. After a series of training sessions and a friendly match, De Vrij received the invitation he had dreamed of – an opportunity to join Feyenoord’s youth ranks.

It marked the beginning of a transformative phase in his career. Although he had primarily played as a central midfielder at VV Spirit, Feyenoord recognized his potential as a defender. The transition was swift, and De Vrij’s rapid development soon led him to represent Feyenoord U15. His talent was evident as he skipped the U16 team, making an immediate impact in the U17 squad.

Stefan De Vrij Biography
© Eurosport

Senior Team

On July 17, 2009, Stefan De Vrij took a significant step in his footballing journey by signing his first professional contract with Feyenoord, a commitment that extended until the summer of 2012. It was the realization of a young player’s aspirations. His official debut for Feyenoord’s senior team came on September 24, 2009, in a KNVB Cup match against Harkemase Boys, where he entered the field in the 58th minute. Later, on December 6, 2009, De Vrij made his Eredivisie debut in a home fixture against FC Groningen. Aged just 18 at the end of his first professional season, he amassed an impressive 21 appearances, with 17 of those in league matches.

The 2012-13 season saw De Vrij ascend to the role of team captain, succeeding Ron Vlaar. However, the following campaign brought challenges, and after a dip in form, he relinquished the captain’s armband. It was passed to Graziano Pellè initially and then to vice-captain Jordy Clasie due to disciplinary issues. This period of adversity would ultimately contribute to De Vrij’s growth and resilience as a footballer.


Stefan De Vrij Biography
© Beinsport

This chapter of Stefan De Vrij’s biography mainly focuses on his Lazio career. In July 2014, Stefan De Vrij embarked on a new chapter in his footballing journey, signing with Serie A club Lazio for an undisclosed fee. The move came as a surprise to many, as he had been heavily linked with a potential switch to Manchester United, following his international manager Louis van Gaal. De Vrij’s optimism was evident as he expressed his eagerness to become a more well-rounded defender in Italy.

He made his debut for Lazio in the Coppa Italia, immediately making an impact by scoring a goal in a resounding 7-0 victory over Bassano Virtus. His Serie A debut came shortly after, although Lazio suffered a 3-1 defeat to A.C. Milan. Unfortunately, his early days in Italy were not without setbacks, as he received a red card in a game against Genoa, leading to an unexpected defeat. Despite these challenges, De Vrij continued to grow as a player, and his determination would soon yield impressive results.

Knee Injury

In the 2015 Supercoppa Italiana, De Vrij played a pivotal role, showcasing his commitment to Lazio despite a 2-0 loss to Juventus. However, the following season was marred by adversity when he sustained a knee injury while on international duty. Despite concerns from Lazio’s medical staff, De Vrij returned to the pitch after a brief recovery. Unfortunately, his knee troubles persisted, ultimately leading to a necessary operation. The injury forced him to the sidelines for an extended period, sidelining him for six months.

Despite these challenges, De Vrij displayed unwavering resilience, and in September 2016, he celebrated his first Serie A goal in a 1-1 draw against Chievo. As his career at Lazio unfolded, his contributions would become increasingly significant, leaving an indelible mark on the club.

Inter Milan

Stefan De Vrij Biography
© Tullio Puglia – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images


Following months of speculation, Stefan De Vrij made a significant move in his career, announcing on 28 May 2018, that he would be joining Inter Milan, with the transfer officially taking effect on 1 July. His commitment to the Nerazzurri was confirmed on 11 July when he was presented as an Inter player, putting pen to paper on a contract that would keep him at the club until June 2023. De Vrij donned squad number 6 and quickly made his mark by making his competitive debut on 19 August in the opening championship week against Sassuolo.

Being The Wall in Inter’s Backline

De Vrij’s time at Inter was marked by notable achievements and contributions. He notched his first goal for the Nerazzurri just one week after his debut, solidifying his presence with a goal against Torino in a 2-2 draw. The defender continued to excel, reaching the milestone of 100 Serie A appearances in September 2018 during a 2-1 home victory over Fiorentina.

He also embraced the challenge of the UEFA Champions League, making crucial contributions, including an assist for Matías Vecino’s injury-time winner against Tottenham Hotspur. Although Inter faced early elimination in the Champions League, they embarked on a journey in the UEFA Europa League knockout stage.

Stefan De Vrij Biography
© Giuseppe Maffia-NurPhoto/Getty Images

Despite some challenges along the way, Stefan De Vrij remained an integral part of Inter’s lineup. His journey with the club continued to flourish, highlighted by moments like his goal in the Derby della Madonnina against rivals Milan. The victory not only solidified Inter’s third-place position in the championship but also marked their first league double over Milan since the 2011-12 season. His consistent performances earned him recognition, and on 9 November 2019, he celebrated his 50th appearance for Inter in all competitions during a 2-1 league win over Verona.

Stefan De Vrij’s dedication to Inter Milan was further affirmed when he extended his contract with the club until 2025 on 8 July 2023, showcasing his commitment to the Nerazzurri cause.

International Career

Stefan De Vrij Biography
© Reuters

In this chapter of Stefan De Vrij’s biography, we delve into his international journey. Stefan de Vrij’s journey in the Netherlands national team began with his selection to the provisional squad for the UEFA Euro 2012 tournament. This marked a significant step for the young defender, as he was one of nine uncapped players included in the preliminary squad by manager Bert van Marwijk. Although he didn’t make the final cut for the tournament, it was a glimpse of the international recognition that awaited him. His official debut for the Dutch national team came on 15 August 2012, under the helm of new manager Louis van Gaal, in a friendly match against Belgium, despite a 4-2 loss.

The pinnacle of De Vrij’s international career, however, came during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He was one of the four defenders from Feyenoord named in Louis van Gaal’s squad for the tournament. In the opening game against Spain, De Vrij’s match was highlighted by a controversial penalty decision, but he later redeemed himself by scoring his first international goal. His strong performances continued throughout the tournament, helping the Netherlands secure a third-place finish. De Vrij’s remarkable contributions didn’t go unnoticed, as he was honored by being selected for the Team of the Tournament alongside fellow Dutchman Arjen Robben.

Stefan De Vrij Biography
© Getty Images

As the years passed, De Vrij’s presence in the Netherlands national team became more significant, contributing to the team’s solid defense alongside talents like Virgil van Dijk and Matthijs de Ligt. This period marked a crucial phase for Dutch football, and De Vrij’s reliability and skill as a defender played a pivotal role in strengthening the national squad’s defensive line.

Stefan De Vrij’s Playing Style

Stefan De Vrij Biography

In this part of Stefan De Vrij’s biography, we take a closer look at his playing style. Stefan De Vrij is a defender known for his composed and intelligent playing style. His exceptional ability to read the game allows him to anticipate opponents’ moves and make crucial interceptions. De Vrij’s positioning is impeccable, making it challenging for attackers to find space in the defensive zone.

Besides his defensive prowess, he possesses strong passing skills, enabling him to initiate attacks from the back. Moreover, he’s a threat during set-pieces, thanks to his aerial ability and precise headers. However, he’s not just a physical presence; his football intelligence and ability to remain cool under pressure set him apart, making him a reliable asset in both defense and distribution.


Stefan De Vrij Biography
© Getty Images

Many football experts have lauded Stefan De Vrij for his outstanding defensive abilities. His composure, excellent timing in tackles, and remarkable aerial prowess have earned him admiration among pundits and fellow professionals. De Vrij’s tactical intelligence and leadership on the field have not gone unnoticed, with several experts considering him one of the best central defenders in modern football.

His adaptability to different defensive systems and his ability to read the game have made him a vital asset for both club and country. Moreover, football experts often highlight his crucial role in marshaling defense and initiating attacks from the back, underscoring his importance to his teams. De Vrij’s contributions to the sport have solidified his reputation as a defensive stalwart, gaining recognition from experts who appreciate his immense impact on the pitch.

  • “Matthijs de Ligt Trusts His Speed, Stefan de Vrij Is Always In The Right Position.” – Christ van der Poel/Ex-Coach
  • “De Vrij impressed me a lot when we played against Inter, he is the strongest defender in Serie A. It was really hard to face him.” – Alfredo Donnarumma/Former Brescia Player


Stefan De Vrij Biography
© LaPresse

This chapter of Stefan De Vrij’s biography delves into his individual and collective honors as a football player. Stefan De Vrij has had a decorated career with several notable honors to his name. During his time at Lazio, he played a pivotal role in helping the club secure the Supercoppa Italiana in 2017. Additionally, he contributed to Lazio’s success by reaching the finals of the Coppa Italia in the 2014-15 and 2016-17 seasons.

However, it was during his spell with Inter Milan that De Vrij achieved the pinnacle of domestic success. In the 2020-21 season, he played an integral role in Inter’s Serie A triumph, securing the league title. His excellence continued as Inter clinched the Coppa Italia in the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons. De Vrij’s contributions were also instrumental in securing back-to-back Supercoppa Italiana titles in 2021 and 2022.

Furthermore, he played a vital part in Inter Milan’s remarkable journey to the UEFA Europa League runner-up position in the 2019-20 season and the UEFA Champions League runner-up in 2022-23. His individual prowess was recognized with accolades like the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team in 2014, Serie A Best Defender in 2019-20, UEFA Europa League Squad of the Season in 2019-20, and Serie A Team of the Year in 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Stefan De Vrij’s honors reflect not only his personal excellence but also his valuable contributions to the success of the clubs he has been a part of, making him a revered figure in the football world.

Stefan De Vrij Outside Professional Life

Stefan De Vrij Biography
© Anp

Finally, in this section of Stefan De Vrij’s biography, we venture into his personal life. Stefan De Vrij is in a committed relationship with Doina Turcanu, with their love story starting back in 2017. Their paths crossed in the enchanting city of Rome, where Stefan de Vrij was playing for the football club Lazio at the time. Since the beginning of their journey together, Doina has been a constant source of love and support for Stefan. Notably, she passionately celebrated Inter Milan’s triumph as the Champions of Serie A in 2021, expressing her congratulations and pride by sharing a heartfelt Instagram post in honor of the team’s success. Their relationship has been a testament to their enduring bond and mutual support throughout Stefan’s football career.

Stefan De Vrij Biography

Furthermore, Stefan De Vrij is known for his commitment to continuous self-improvement. He possesses a genuine passion for football, but his interests extend beyond the sport. He is an individual with diverse hobbies and a keen interest in expanding his horizons. Whether it’s honing his skills on the field, spending quality time with his family, or pursuing personal interests, Stefan De Vrij embodies a balanced approach to life that complements his successful football career.

Frequently Asked Questions


Stefan De Vrij’s journey from his humble beginnings to becoming one of the most successful Serie A defenders showcases his dedication, skill, and resilience. His consistent performances have earned him recognition as one of the best central defenders in modern football. Whether it’s his composure, tactical intelligence, or leadership on the field, De Vrij’s contributions to both club and country have left an indelible mark. As he continues to excel at Inter Milan, football enthusiasts eagerly await the next chapter in Stefan De Vrij’s illustrious career.

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