Boudewijn Zenden in the jersey of Liverpool FC
In addition to football, he was also active in Judo. He received his black belt at age 14 and he was a three time winner in his home province of Limburg. At 16, he decided against Judo to further his football career.
In 1993 he moved into the professional team of PSV. As a left midfielder, he replaced 1996 Jan Wouters, since he left the club. From this time on he was a regular at the club. Zenden was an important part of the team for winning the championship in 1997. During the same year he was awarded the "Dutch Talent of the Year " award. After another season in which he scored twelve goals in 23 games, he moved to FC Barcelona in 1998.
In Barcelona, he was part of a large number of Dutch players under coach Louis van Gaal. As Marc Overmars played on his previous position, Zenden was mostly as a left offensive defender on the court. In this position, he was very successful, so he took over the starting place of Sergi Barjuán. After Louis van Gaal in 2000 left the club, he played less and less for Barcelona.
In the summer of 2001, he spent 7.5 million pounds to Chelsea. In the three years he played for the club from London, he managed not to get a solid starting place there. During this time he had some injuries.
Chelsea loaned Zenden for the season 2003/04 to the Middlesbrough FC. Here he had as a player again success and even scored the winning goal in the final of the League Cup against Bolton Wanderers. Thus, the club secured his first major title. His contract ended in the summer of 2004 at Chelsea, so he moved free transfer to FC Middlesbrough. In the English club he played as an attacking midfielder and stood at 36 league games on the court.
In summer 2005, he moved to Liverpool, after his contract had expired at Middlesbrough. There he plays again in the left midfield. In December 2005, he injured his knee so that he could not play the rest of the season. After another knee surgery in late November 2006 he fell out for another six weeks, but was in the final stages of the Champions League back on the court. He scored the first penalty in the semi-final against Chelsea and was in the Champions League final against AC Milan on the pitch.
On 24 May 2007 declared Rafael Benítez, the Liverpool FC, the contract would not be renewed with Zenden. On July 6, Zenden signed for two years at Olympique Marseille.
In Marseille he got a regular place more and stood in the 2008/ 09 season only 13 times on the court. After the end of the season 2008/ 09 he was out of contract. He said he wanted to finish his career in England after the Blackburn Rovers and Portsmouth FC showed interest. Since October 2009 he is in the service of Sunderland.
17 May 2010 it was announced that Zenden has extended his contract for another year. This agreement expired in 2011 and was not renewed, Zenden was without a club.
In September 2012, he held the German Bundesliga side Bayer 04 Leverkusen fit, with his team boss Sami Hyypia he had stood together at Liverpool in the squad. However, it did not come to an obligation.
On October 22, 2012, he was then appointed as assistant coach of Chelsea FC.
Zenden played from 1997 to 2004 54 caps for the Dutch national team. He made his international debut on 30 April 1997 as part of the qualification for the FIFA World Cup in 1998 against San Marino.
With the national team, he participated in the World Cup in 1998 and the European Football Championships in 2000 and 2004.
Since September 2004, he was not nominated for the national team and the injury in December 2005 nullified all chances to be nominated for the 2006 World Cup.
Since November 21, 2012 Zenden is assistant coach Rafael Benítez of at Chelsea.