When Royston Drenthe answers a phone he’s on his approach to a photoshoot in Amsterdam. It’s for an underwear company, and will underline several former footballers. “I don’t even have a six-pack though they still wish me,” he laughs.
The former Feyenoord, Real Madrid and Everton winger has always been peaceful to try new things. For such a charming character, who has explored interests in music, fashion, redolence and poker, zero should come as a surprise.
At 32, Drenthe is personification for Kozakken Boys in a third tier of Dutch football. He was once maybe a many sought-after awaiting in Europe, if not a world, though his career didn’t utterly go to devise adult until his brief retirement during a age of 29.
“The dual years that we stopped we indispensable something new,” says Drenthe. “I only had to step out for a bit to find myself again.”
In a summer of 2007, Drenthe was hailed as a Netherlands’ successive luminary carrying led his nation to success in a European Under-21s Championship, as good as claiming a endowment for a tournament’s best player.
Legendary total like Luis Figo, Andrea Pirlo and Fabio Cannavaro had formerly won a same award.
“It was an extraordinary feeling. At that European Championships all was going good and when clubs start seeking for we it’s like a dream come true. we had to make a preference about what we wanted to do.
“There were large clubs like Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona. It wasn’t an easy preference to make though we chose Real Madrid since my step-dad was always a large fan of them.”
Drenthe was only 20, with one full deteriorate in comparison football behind him, when he altered to arguably a world’s many glamorous and successful bar for 14m euros.
“You have to take some chances true away. A lot of people would say, ‘it was approach too early for him. Why did he leave Feyenoord?’ That’s football. You make decisions to attain though infrequently they don’t go how we want,” he says.
“I felt during home true divided since a players were really good to me and they helped me. They were large stars though they treated me like a normal boy.”
Drenthe tended towards a spectacular. He scored with a thumping long-range strike on his entrance and featured frequently in his initial season, primarily gripping Marcelo out of a team. He won a pretension underneath Bernd Schuster though fell out of foster underneath successive managers, including Jose Mourinho.
At a notoriously perfectionist club, whose supporters had a really top expectations, Drenthe infrequently came adult short. The vigour prompted anxiety.
“I was a immature kid who came to a large club, personification in front of 90,000 people each home game,” he explains.
“There came a impulse where we had a problem though a people around me talked to me and helped to indicate me in a right direction.”
Loaned out to Hercules after a formidable third deteriorate in Madrid, swell on a representation was accompanied by struggle and doubt off it.
“It was really good though also really bad. we had a good time there though it was a bad time for a club. They weren’t profitable salaries and that kind of stuff,” he says.
“At that impulse it wasn’t easy. we was like, ‘If they don’t compensate salaries, I’m not entrance into training’.”
Drenthe went on strike, and found himself a aim for a supporters’ disappointment as a result.
Another earnest loan spell during Everton incited green when he was ostracised by David Moyes amid rumours of indiscipline and a careless lifestyle.
“Sometimes things occur and we got punished for a things that we did. It’s like 7 years ago now. Some of a furious things that we did, we don’t even know that we did them.
“I always focused on football. You guys consider that we didn’t though we always did. Some people see things and review things so they get their possess opinion. But they don’t know me as a person. It doesn’t worry me.”
Drenthe had a repute as a seducer and celebration animal via his career. Rightly or wrongly, a open notice has endured even as his priorities have changed. It positively doesn’t total with how he sees himself now.
“I like to assistance people. I’m open. I’m a family man. I’m only Royston, we know? we go with a flow.”
After withdrawal Real Madrid when his agreement expired, Drenthe spent a few months in Russia during Alania Vladikavkaz before returning to England with Reading and afterwards Sheffield Wednesday, before spells in Turkey and a UAE.
After some-more issues with agents and delinquent salary Drenthe, disillusioned, late in 2016, only 9 years on from Europe’s biggest clubs clamouring to pointer him.
“I was creation song though it’s formidable to contend that we was focused on one thing. we was bustling with lots of opposite things,” he says.
“I’ve always favourite music. When I’m happy we listen to song and when I’m unhappy we listen to song as well. It always gives me a good feeling.”
Aside from rapping as Roya2Faces, there was also a record company, a garments shop, a redolence store and his 6 children to keep him busy.
Then final summer he perceived an offer from his former mentor, Henk Fraser, a manager of Sparta Rotterdam, to give football another go.
And now Drenthe’s personification alongside his cousin with Kozakken Boys in a Dutch third tier in front of crowds of during many a integrate of thousand. It’s not a Bernabeu though he’s blissful to still be playing.
For infrequent observers, spellbound by his skills as a youngster, there will always be a slow clarity of what competence have been, though Drenthe himself doesn’t share it.
“No regrets during all. Everything happens for a reason,” he says. “I don’t bewail anything since I’m happy with where we am and I’m happy with where I’ve been. I’m vital my life during a moment.”