Marc Overmars (Dutch: [ˈmɑrk ˈoːvərmɑrs], born 29 March 1973) is a Dutch former footballer and the current director of football at Ajax. During his footballing career, he played as a winger and was renowned for his speed and technical skills.
Overmars was born in Emst and was passionate about football at an early age. He began his playing career at SV Epe before joining Go Ahead Eagles' youth team in 1987. He secured a place in the first team by the 1990–91 season, but joined Willem II in time for the following season. His stay at the club was short; after 31 appearances he signed for Ajax in 1992. He established himself as a key member of the team that won three Eredivisie titles from between 1994 and 1996 and the UEFA Champions League in 1995. In December 1995, Overmars sustained a cruciate ligament injury which ruled him out of playing for eight months.
In 1997, he joined Arsenal; his performances at the club were indifferent to begin with and attracted criticism from football pundits and fans alike. By the end of his first season, Overmars became a focal point of Arsenal's league and cup double success. He scored the winning goal against league rivals Manchester United which set his team on their way to securing the Premier League title and opened the scoring against Newcastle United in the 1998 FA Cup Final. In 2000, he moved to Barcelona in a deal worth £25 million and became the most expensive player in Dutch football history. The club failed to win silverware during his stay and numerous managerial changes made him a peripheral player. A persistent knee injury prompted Overmars to announce his retirement in 2004, but he reversed his decision in 2008 and went on to play one season for Go Ahead Eagles before retiring again. In 2012, he was named as Ajax's director of football.
Overmars represented the Netherlands national team for 11 years. He made his debut in 1993 against Turkey, a match in which he scored in, and was a member of the Netherlands squads for four major tournaments, the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, and 2000 and 2004 European Championships.Close