Boudewijn Zenden (August 15, 1976) was a talented, hard-working wing player who played on all lines on the left. Bolo, who was also a talented judoka in his youth, made his debut for PSV in professional football in 1994.
After four successful seasons, in which he became national champion, cup winner and twice won the Johan Cruijff Shield, the Limburger left after the 1998 World Cup for the "orange-colored" FC Barcelona.
In his first season, led by trainer Louis van Gaal, the Catalans extended the title in "La Liga".
After three seasons in Barcelona, Zenden had had enough and moved 'Bolo' to Chelsea in 2001. In the period that followed, in which no awards were won, he played 43 games in which he scored four runs.
After two seasons, Zenden was allowed to leave because Chelsea had bought more than 160 million euros in new players. A statement by then national coach Dick Advocaat, that he had to play weekly to qualify for the 2004 European Championship in Portugal, also made the Limburger doubt.
Several clubs were interested in him, but Zenden did not like many clubs. Ajax and PSV did, but they showed no interest. Middlesbrough, Charlton Athletic, Paris Saint Germain and Hannover 96 showed interest. He only liked the French PSG. When that transfer also fell through, he chose to go to Middlesbrough on a loan basis.
He likes this so much that Boro takes him over from Chelsea after one season. The period in Middlesbrough is very successful. Zenden scored the winning goal in the 2004 League Cup final against the Bolton Wanderers and secured Middlesbrough his first prize in the club's history.
After serving his contract with Middlesbrough, the winger left for Liverpool, the club that had won the Champions League a month earlier. Here, Zenden won the European Super Cup in 2005, the Community Shield in 2006 and lost the Champions League final of 2007. A day after the lost final, Rafael Benitez announced that Bolo was allowed to leave after the season.
Via Olympique Marseille, where he would play two seasons, he ended up in the Premier League again, with Sunderland FC. The two seasons that Zenden played here were characterized by the many changes he got. The audience in the Stadium of Light rarely saw the Limburger at the kick-off.
Boudewijn Zenden has 54 international matches to his name, in which he scored seven times. He played at the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 and 2004 European Championships.
In 2012, Boudewijn Zenden became Chelsea's new assistant coach under the rule of his former manager Rafael Benitez. Zenden has been working at his old club PSV since the 2013-2014 season. After he started as an assistant coach at Jong PSV, he became part of the PSV technical staff as a specialist trainer from November 2015, where he mainly focuses on training wing attackers.
(Photo: ANP – Cor Mulder)