Toulon Tournament Player Of The Day: Diego Biseswar

It’s been a tournament to forget for the Dutch, but the Feyenoord forward can at least hold his head up high, helping his side creep into the last four.
Name: Diego Sander Biseswar
DoB/Age: March 8, 1988 (21-years-old)
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Club: Feyenoord
Position: Left Winger/ Forward

The Toulon Tournament of 2009 will be swiftly written off by the Netherlands if they cannot improve their group stage performances in the semi-finals. One of their few players to perform well has been Diego Biseswar, who has featured prominently in all three games.

A somewhat controversial character, Biseswar has already gone through a great deal in his fledgling professional career, which could have been over before it started as he left Ajax’s youth ranks after a fall-out with the coach. A move to Rotterdam and Feyenoord followed when he was 16, and it is with Mario Been’s side that he remains to this day.

He actually made his debut in season 2004-05, a lone appearance that term, but became a more frequent part of the side the following year, ultimately being definitively promoted to the first team squad in January 2006.

Despite his inclusion in the senior ranks, it was felt by the management team of Feyenoord that he required more pitch time to hone his skills and, with places limited in Rotterdam, he was shifted to Heracles for the following year and De Graafschap in the 2007-08 season.

Goals were proving hard to come by, although the youngster’s talents had caught the eye of a number of teams, with the club’s hierarchy prepared to let him move on for the right price. A trial at Sheffield United of the English Championship appeared to have been fruitful, but the Blades could not come up with sufficient funds to take him to England.

That proved to be something of a blessing in disguise for Feyenoord, as he would provide something of a bright spot in what has been a relatively mediocre campaign for a team considered one of the Netherlands’ historical elite. His seven goals in 25 league starts made him Feyenoord’s third top scorer, however, his efforts could not inspire his club to a finishing position higher than seventh.

Running parallel to his club career, Biseswar has enjoyed international recognition for some time. In 2006, he was initially touted for a call up to the Trinidad and Tobago World Cup team. However, Leo Beenhakker, coach of the Caribbean islanders had made an error – Biseswar was born in the Netherlands and his parents in Surinam so was therefore ineligible to play for T&T.

This may have been a personal set-back, but recognition from his country of birth would eventually follow, debuting of the Netherlands Under-21 last October against Ukraine in a scoreless encounter. A further step was taken towards full international recognition when was called upon by Johan Neeskens to play for the Netherlands ‘B’ team.

Consistently Solid

Battered and bruised by Argentina in their opening encounter and thoroughly unimpressive as they beat the UAE 1-0, the Netherlands needed a spark this evening and Biseswar was their only starting player ever likely to provide it. Indeed, he has been one of the few Dutchmen in the squad to live up to pre-tournament expectations throughout the competition.

Along with substitute Oussama Assaidi, Biseswar took a firm grip of the game in the second half when the Dutch were trailing, producing a killer pass to allow the wasteful Donovan Deekman to finally convert a chance and bring the game level and push his team-mates into the final four.

Tied To Feyenoord

Given his fine recent form, it is unsurprising that there has been a fair degree of interested in the young Dutchman this season. Valencia, for example, were considering a bid for his services in March, with PSV, Twente and Benfica also reportedly considering bids.

Biseswar was quick to rule out a move to another Eredivisie side and committed his future to Feyenoord in April, signing a three year deal to stifle speculation over a move.

Robin Bairner,