Denzel Dumfries: The Meteoric Rise Of The Dutch Football Star

Denzel Dumfries: The Meteoric Rise Of The Dutch Football Star

Denzel Dumfries is a Dutch footballer who usually plays right back for both the Dutch national team and his club Inter Milan. Denzel Dumfries is very famous for his meteoric rise from playing in the Dutch amateur league to playing for Inter Milan in the Italian Serie A (one of the most competitive football leagues in the world). In this post, we will find out more about Denzel Dumfries, let’s get started.

Denzel Dumfries: All You Need To Know

Denzel Dumfries: A Miraculous Football Career

How did Denzel Dumfries transform from amateur to professional football?

As far as professional footballers are concerned, Denzel Dumfries is a late bloomer who spent a long time in the amateur leagues before moving on to professional football. He played in the youth division at Smitshoek, Spartaan ’20, again at Smitshoek and Barendrecht before being signed by Sparta Rotterdam in 2014.

Sparta Rotterdam

He made his debut in the Eerste Divisie on 20 February 2015, in a 2–1 away loss against FC Emmen. He replaced Johan Voskamp after the break. Dumfries became champion of the First Division on April 11, 2016, with Sparta Rotterdam. He was named the best player of the Eerste Divisie on May 4, 2016, and received a Golden Bull for this. During the 2016/17 season, he was also a pivotal player for Sparta in the Eredivisie.

SC Heerenveen

Dumfries signed a contract with SC Heerenveen in July 2017 until mid-2021. For this, he played 33 of 34 league games in his first season, all as a basic player. The same applied to the two games that Heerenveen then played in the play-offs, after finishing eighth in the league.

PSV Eindhoven

Denzel Dumfries transferred from SC Heerenveen to PSV Eindhoven, the champion of the Eredivisie in the previous season. The team paid about 5.5 million euros for him. He signed with the Eindhoven club until mid-2023. Dumfries made his unofficial debut for PSV on 7 July 2018, as did another purchase Angelino. The Eindhoven team lost 5–3 in an exhibition game against RSC Anderlecht that day.

Denzel Dumfries made his first appearance in a game as part of the UEFA Champions League on August 21, 2018. He got a starting spot that day during a preliminary round game and won 2–3 away at FK BATE Borisov. He kept that starting place throughout the 2018/19 season.

Coach Mark van Bommel appointed Dumfries captain of PSV at the end of November 2019. He also remained this way when Ernest Faber succeeded Van Bommel on an interim basis in December 2019. Dumfries scored his first goal in a European tournament on August 22, 2019. He put PSV 3–0 up in a UEFA Europa League preliminary round match won by those same numbers, at home against Apollon Limassol.

Inter Milan

In August 2021, Dumfries signed a four-year contract with Inter Milan and performed very well with I Nerazzurri in his first season.

Dutch National Team

Denzel Dumfries made his debut in the Aruban national football team as an A-junior from BVV Barendrecht. He made his debut on March 28, 2014, under national coach Giovanni Franken as a basic player, in a friendly home match against the Guamese national football team (2–2). Three days later, Dumfries scored his first goal for Aruba, in a second game against Guam (2–0). He was replaced by Nickerson Paul after 89 minutes.

After his transfer to Sparta, Dumfries stopped playing as an Aruban international, hoping to play for the Dutch national (youth) teams. He made his debut in both the Netherlands under-20 and the Netherlands under-21 teams in 2016. His debut for the Dutch national football team followed on October 13, 2018. National coach Ronald Koeman gave him a starting place that day in a 3–0 international match against Germany in the context of the UEFA Nations League. He also played during the rest of this tournament, up to the final.

Dumfries also received playing time in some of the Euro 2020 qualifiers played in 2019. In that period he had to compete with Joel Veltman for a basic place as right back. With his first international goal, the 3–2 against Ukraine, Dumfries decided the first match of the European Championship 2020 (played in 2021) in favor of the Netherlands. In the second game of the Netherlands, he scored another goal.

Dumfries was selected to participate in the 2022 World Cup. During this tournament, he was a starting player as a wingback. Where he did not stand out in the three group matches, he did so in the eighth final, winning 3-1 against the United States. He provided an assist to Memphis Depay and an assist to Daley Blind and scored himself on Blind’s instructions.

Denzel Dumfries: The amazing move from amateur to pros

Denzel Dumfries is now a pivotal player at PSV and has become one of the best right backs in the Netherlands. A few years ago, however, the world looked very different to him. Do you often hear that you are too old to become a professional football player? Well, Denzel Dumfries refused to believe that and carved an improbable career for himself.


Denzel Dumfries played in youth for VV Smitshoek, Spartaan ’20, and BVV Barendrecht before being signed by Sparta Rotterdam at the age of 17. ⠀

Lesley Esajas trained Denzel Dumfries in the A1 of BVV Barendrecht. And he still closely follows the current defender of PSV and the Dutch national team. He told journalists: ‘I can still see Denzel sitting at the dining table in my living room. Good friends as he was with our son Daniel, and he regularly came to eat with us. This was also the case this evening when fries were on the menu. When the bowl passed from hand to hand, everyone scooped up happily. Except for Denzel, who stuck to the salad a little further on. “I have to eat healthy,” he politely excused himself. “I must and will become a professional football player.”

‘Denzel had (and still has) incredible drive; always has been. The type that never missed a workout, who always went full out and literally never slowed down. To be honest, at first, I had my doubts about whether Denzel would make it as far as he always said. But that quickly changed. I have never seen someone who was so passionate about football and had so much confidence in himself.’ “It fitted exactly with the saying that I always gave him at the time: ‘Input wins over talent when talent shows no effort’. The latter applies flawlessly to Denzel. There were enough players at Barendrecht who could play better football. But there was no one with Denzel’s character.”

As they say, “Effort wins over talent when talent shows no effort”, Denzel Dumfries is a living, breathing example of that.

At Sparta, he managed to earn a starting place within a year and in his 2nd season he became champion of the Jupiler League. The following season in the Eredivisie he played very well as a starting player and after three successful seasons at Sparta he made the next step to SC Heerenveen.

Here he managed to make such an impression in a year that champion PSV paid 5 million euros for him. In Eindhoven, he immediately grew into a basic player and a year later he was even elected captain.

On October 13, 2018, Dumfries made his debut for the Dutch national team in a match against Germany. In the meantime, he had already played 9 international matches for the Orange squad and could count on a starting spot in most matches under Ronald Koeman.

The Dumfries drive never dies

Dumfries himself said that his development can be explained by his enormous urge to improve. For this, he used the moments that other football players use to rest. “During the summer holidays, you are of course conditionally busy, but I mainly wanted to work on my lesser points. The most important thing was my footwork. Standing on the front feet, becoming even more agile. My goal is to get better every day. There’s a lot more in it. I often dreamed of Orange in the past, a person has to dream, right? I am a realist, but one who wants to get everything out of his career. I have to keep investing. I have proven in recent years that nothing is impossible.’⠀

From the amateurs to the Dutch national team within 4 years. Denzel Dumfries brought the legendary Kevin Garnett quote to life: “Anything is possible”.

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