If you were to build the prototype of the perfect modern centre-back, it would probably look a lot like Jaap Stam.
Stam proved one of the most daunting defenders for opposition forwards during a lengthy career at the top of European football, spending time with clubs such as PSV, Manchester United, Lazio and AC Milan.
He won three consecutive league titles and the Champions League during his time in English football, his reputation as one of the division’s best cemented following three successive inclusions in the PFA Team of the Year.
Following a period in Italy, the Dutchman returned to his native Netherlands and finished his career with a two-season spell at Ajax, lifting the KNVB Cup with the Amsterdam outfit.
Even into the twilight of his career the powerful Stam was a nightmarish prospect for strikers, here is the best of Jaap Stam at Ajax.
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Author: Harry Diamond