Champ Man Legend #No 7 Kevin Hofland
I was slightly reluctant to include Kevin Hofland in this list of CM legends. He was a big money signing on CM 01/02 and did have a relatively successful career. Not usually the ingredients that ensure legendary status, but with Mike Duff and Taribo West already in the legends list, it felt like the player I used the most in the middle of that back three had to take his place on the list.
He started his career at Fortuna but made his name, both in real life and on CM at PSV Eindhoven. To get hold of him you’d need to pay big bucks, but if you had them at your disposal, he was a very worthwhile acquisition. Yes there were cheaper defenders who could do that job for you, but in the expensive category he was probably only rivalled by Alessandro Nesta, who was at Lazio at the time, and was much more difficult to get hold of. He wasn’t always my first purchase, but eventually he’d find his way into that back three. I think I only ever managed to get him on the cheap a couple of times in the game, and then only years into a career.
As mentioned, unlike many good players on CM he did have a reasonably successful career in the real world. He won 2 Eredivise titles at PSV, along with 2 Johan Cruyff Shields, which is a far better name than we have for our similar game: the Community Shield. I’m assuming we’d never agree in this country on a player we could name it after that was worthy of it. Anyway, whilst at PSV he was apparently a transfer target for Man Utd and Real Madrid. Hofland was quoted at the time as saying he would only go to Manchester if guaranteed a first team spot and he subsequently ended up at Wolfsburg.
He had 3 seasons with Die Wölfe, but the side didn’t perform well during his time there, I can onlyassume they hadn’t read the CM coaching manual and considered bringing in Mike Duff to partner him, and consequently he found himself back in Holland with Feyenoord. He spent a further 3 seasons with the Rood-witten, the highlight of which was surely winning the KNVB Cup in 07/08, a final in which Denny Landzaat (of playing over 50 games for Wigan fame), scored the opener. He finished his career with brief spells in Cyprus and Greece, but eventually stopped playing due to an ankle injury, first sustained during his time at PSV.
Internationally he won 7 caps for Holland, not too shabby. Although 4 of them did come during the ill-fated attempt to qualify for the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea. Significantly, he played during the crucial 1-0 away loss to the Republic of Ireland, maybe he should have been picking up Jason McAteer on the back post, somebody should have been – no doubt Mike Duff would have read the danger and shifted over to nullify the threat.