Inside the mad world of Memphis Depay: Man United flop has fake gold teeth, wears cowboy hats and a headband that's infuriated the Dutch

Memphis Depay is unapologetically himself, but his team needs him on Friday 

If there was to be an elevator pitch to best describe Memphis Depay it is that of an individual who has shown a penchant for standing out.

Even going back to his early days in school he was seen as a nuisance and one of his teachers once recalled how a boisterous Depay would often cartwheel and breakdance in class.

His craving for the spotlight only intensified into adulthood and there are countless examples of the Dutchman leaving jaws agape with his garish fashion choices, or leaving campaign groups furious for his behaviour on and off the pitch.

It was in 2015 when Depay headed out in Manchester for a night out having scored his first Premier League goal in a 3-0 win over Sunderland.

The win had put Louis van Gaal's side top of the table and Depay wanted to celebrate. So, out he went to Suburbia night club with some fake gold teeth cluttering his mouth.

There was the £250,000 Rolls-Royce he splashed out on when his form went awry at United and he was relegated to the reserves. Wayne Rooney famously recalled how Depay rocked up to one reserve game in a cowboy hat.

Even going back to his days as a kid, Memphis Depay (pictured) has always stood out both on and off the pitch

Even going back to his days as a kid, Memphis Depay (pictured) has always stood out both on and off the pitch

The former Man United star (pictured) once donned a sparkling pair of bejewled teeth on a night out after Louis van Gaal's side claimed a 3-0 win over Sunderland in 2015

The former Man United star (pictured) once donned a sparkling pair of bejewled teeth on a night out after Louis van Gaal's side claimed a 3-0 win over Sunderland in 2015

The free agent forward helped the Netherlands claim a 2-1 win against Poland on Sunday

The free agent forward helped the Netherlands claim a 2-1 win against Poland on Sunday

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Depay's extensive file also includes splashing out a £5,500 Louis Vuitton outfit with 3D removable pocket trousers; decorating a £1,200 pair of wellies with felt tip pens for Neymar's birthday; self-isolating during the Covid period with a liger - a cross between a lion and a tiger - for a rap video which left animal rights groups furious; coming out in support of Benjamin Mendy, after the Frenchman was acquitted of all charges of sexual assault, and Quincy Promes, who was convicted of cocaine smuggling.

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Now it's a white headband which has stopped the Netherlands in its tracks. If Gareth Southgate thinks England are unfairly under a microscope he would be wise to look over at the Dutch who are filling air time and column inches with pros and cons of Depay's headwear.

The headband in question, worn in the Netherlands' opening group stage win over Poland, was embroidered with the words 'who cares' on the back, a not-so-subtle shot at the team's critics.

'That headband has to go. It's one big middle finger to everyone,' prominent Dutch columnist Sander Schimmelpenninck said this week.

'He wants to stand out again. If you put on a headband like that as decoration, you show that you consider the team less important than your own bulls***.'

Criticism didn't end there.

The Netherlands footballer was also once engaged to American model Lori Harvey (left)

The Netherlands footballer was also once engaged to American model Lori Harvey (left)

The former Manchester United forward has also dated model Coral Gutierrez (pictured) from the Canary Islands

The former Manchester United forward has also dated model Coral Gutierrez (pictured) from the Canary Islands

Depay has come under the spotlight at Euro 2024 for wearing a headband that reads 'who cares'

Depay has come under the spotlight at Euro 2024 for wearing a headband that reads 'who cares'

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A post shared by Memphis Depay (@memphisdepay)

'Just kick that guy out of the Dutch national team,' he continued. 'Just put Wout Weghorst in there. We'll score fewer goals, but I don't want these kind of guys in the Dutch national team. Sorry.'

Depay is unapologetically him in every sense. He will wear what he wants, say what he wants, post what he wants, all without fear of recrimination.

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But Depay isn't a kid anymore. He's 30, on the hunt for his sixth club as a professional after being discarded by Atletico Madrid this summer and boss Ronald Koeman needs a problem solver at these Euros not a headache creator.

With only centre back pairing Stefan de Vrij and Virgil van Dijk older than Depay in the starting line-up for the 2-1 win over Poland, Depay must not be the distraction he risks being once again.

There has long been a chip on Depay's shoulder, an edge to him that few of the game's most accomplished managers have been able to harness in the right way.

A damaging childhood - he was beaten by other children, began drinking at the age of 12 and counted cocaine dealers among the company he kept - left its mark. He would dream then of a better life, a lavish life that he would be able to stick to all those who hurt him.

Depay joined Man United back in 2015 and went on to win the Europa League, FA Cup and EFL Cup before departing in 2017

Depay joined Man United back in 2015 and went on to win the Europa League, FA Cup and EFL Cup before departing in 2017

An 18 month spell at Barcelona also saw him win a LaLiga title, while making 42 appearances

An 18 month spell at Barcelona also saw him win a LaLiga title, while making 42 appearances

He's dated the likes of model Coral Gutierrez, was at one time engaged to Lori Harvey, played for two of the biggest clubs in the world in Manchester United and Barcelona and has turned his passion for rap into a YouTube channel amassing more than 49 million views.

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What he hasn't done a lot of in his career is win trophies and medals. Since leaving PSV Eindhoven, there was an FA Cup in 2015-16 - he didn't even make the squad for the final and never got off the bench in the quarter-finals or semi-finals — and a LaLiga title in 2022-23 where he started just five times from 10 appearances. Teams have often won in spite of him.

Now, heading into a huge clash with France in Leipzig on Friday, the Netherlands desperately need him to stitch together more than just a jibe on a headband.

'Memphis Depay must stand up now,' Dutch icon Wesley Sneijder said. 'His first match was difficult, but in these types of matches such as against France, as an experienced player you have to ensure that your class comes to the fore. That's very difficult, but Memphis can do that.'

[video_shortcode_video_html_5 src="https://videos.dailymail.co.uk/video/mol/2024/06/16/11967810611560290/1024x576_MP4_11967810611560290.mp4" itemprop="image" content="https://videos.dailymail.co.uk/video/mol/2024/06/16/11967810611560290/1024x576_MP4_11967810611560290.mp4" data-src="https://videos.dailymail.co.uk/video/mol/2024/06/16/11967810611560290/1024x576_MP4_11967810611560290.mp4"]

But Depay is unapologetically himself in every sense. He will wear and say what he wants

But Depay is unapologetically himself in every sense. He will wear and say what he wants

The Dutchman must now stand up on Friday and deliver as The Netherlands take on France

The Dutchman must now stand up on Friday and deliver as The Netherlands take on France

As Rooney learned the hard way, the 30-year-old isn't one for taking the words of more experienced pros on board so whether he heeds Sneijder's advice remains to be seen.

But if anything can cut through deep into Depay's psyche it should be his own Instagram feed.

Back in May in the lead-up to this tournament he shared a cartoon of a devil talking to a illuminated figure in which it reads: 'Your light may irritate a lot of unhealed people. Shine anyway!'

There's no better shining moment than knocking off France on Friday night.

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