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Barcadi and Coke and those short skirts


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This is priceless


Andy Van Der Meyde talks to Royston Drenthe



AMSTERDAM enjoys a well-earned reputation as Europe’s pre-eminent party city.


With its bars, red-light district and a mayor who advised in December that city police will turn a blind eye to foreigners who buy cannabis in its famous coffee shops when a national ban comes into force this year, ‘The Dam’ is the destination of choice for stag and hen parties.


But it can’t hold a candle to Liverpool.


That’s according to two Dutchmen who are well-placed to judge.


Royston Drenthe and Andy van der Meyde are former Dutch internationals who each spent turbulent times at Everton.


And van Der Meyde in particular believes that the temptations on offer on Merseyside were simply too much to resist for a pair of mercurial footballing mavericks trying to rebuild stalled careers.


A feature on Dutch website HP Detijd this week reveals the lengths van der Meyde took to try and protect his compatriot from falling victim to the same perils and pitfalls he experienced on Merseyside.


The article reveals how Drenthe received a phone call on August 29, 2011. It was Andy van der Meyde.


“Royston, I hear that you are on your way to Everton,” he said. “Don’t do it boy, I beg you, don’t do it.


“Liverpool has too many temptations for guys like us. Before you know it you will be dragged into the nightclubs.


“There Bacardi flows and you can ski on cocaine; and the women, Royston. Oh man, oh man, oh man. Those British women with their short skirts . . . .’’


Did Drenthe follow his advice?


He signed for Everton. But less than eight months later was looking for another club. A football club that is.


His intentions in August 2011, however, were honourable.


“Don’t worry man. I come here for the football,” he told his compatriot. “You know, I dare not say it out loud, but I aim to go to the European Championships in 2012. I’m going for it, brother.”


“That’s good to hear,” replied a concerned Andy, “but can I keep in touch by text?


“And keep your eyes open for those clubs man. They can cost you the European Championships!”


Three short weeks later Drenthe scored his first goal in a 3-1 win over Wigan Athletic. He came home to another text message from van der Meyde.


“Congratulations on your first goal. Onwards to the European Championships!”


Van der Meyde continued to send messages during the season...as Drenthe played less and less. And as his appearances dwindled, so too did his text replies.


Drenthe didn’t make it to the European Championships – and the story fast forwards to December 2012, when Drenthe is Christmas shopping in Rotterdam.


He buys a copy of van der Meyde’s autobiography – and decides to text his old pal again.


“Do you know if there is anything to do in Vladikavkaz? Regards, RR.”


According to HP Detijd, Andy replied: “I'll find out for you for you,” gave his wife and kids a kiss on the forehead and checked into the Aleksandrovskiy Grand Hotel in the Russian industrial centre. He showered, he splashed on his eau de cologne, and was ready for the Vladikavkaz night life.


After three days of ‘research’ he returned home and sent a reassuring text to Drenthe.


“Nothing to do. Ugly women. The coast is clear.”


On February 2, Royston Drenthe officially signed a deal to become an Alania Vladikavkaz player and help them fight a Russian relegation battle in a city lying in the foothills of the Caucasus Mountains.


According to Wikipedia, Vladikavkaz’s most notable structure is a ‘TV mast, 198-meter (650 ft) tall and built in 1961’.


Drenthe is now spending plenty of nights in watching television.

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