Six months after winning his first cap against Tunisia in February 2009, the Celtic left-back contested his one and only 2010 FIFA World Cup™ qualifier, making a 44-minute appearance against Norway before disappearing from the scene. Loaned out to the Glasgow giants by Bayern Munich in January, the defender with Surinamese roots nonetheless boosted his chances of making the trip to South Africa by agreeing to leave Bavaria. He may not have taken Scotland by storm after manager Tony Mowbray was dismissed in March, but he did enough to convince Bert van Marwijk to bring him along.
Having made his professional debut with Utrecht, Braafheid only joined Bayern last summer, following two-and-a-half years with Twente, where he came to the fore as a solid centre-back. Powerful and strong in the tackle, he convinced Twente coach Fred Rutten to field him in the middle as opposed to out on the flank, a decision that ousted the talented Ramon Zomer from the club’s rearguard.
A member of the Netherlands squad at the UEFA European Under-21 Championship in 2006, he missed out on UEFA EURO 2008 despite a number of calls for his inclusion. Marco van Basten never gave him his chance at international level, but Van Marwijk eventually brought him through, six months after he and club-mate Rob Wielaert missed out on the 2008 Men’s Olympic Football Tournament as Twente disputed the UEFA Champions League qualifiers.