Many football enthusiasts may not be familiar with the name Jeffrey Hugeworst. A decade ago, this Dutchman had a promising future ahead. He embarked on his football journey with the youth team of Ajax before making the move to Spain. However, the current whereabouts of the 39-year-old former footballer remain unknown after his disappearance at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2002, Hugeworst transitioned from Ajax to smaller clubs on the Iberian Peninsula, representing Sporting Hichon and Marino Luanco. He later joined the Real Madrid academy but relocated to Barcelona at the insistence of Pep Guardiola.
In Barcelona, Hugeworst grappled with alcohol and drug addiction. Almost daily, he frequented renowned Spanish nightclubs, becoming a notable figure. Spanish media reports suggested his frequent companion was Ronaldinho, a Barcelona legend. Hugeworst would occasionally attend training sessions under the influence, leading to a contractual clause that resulted in his expulsion. This eventually occurred, albeit with a slightly altered scenario.
“He missed an entire training session. When we inquired, we were informed he was in jail… The reason remained unknown. Guardiola expressed his disinterest, stating he had to leave,” recounted Dani Toribio, his former teammate.
Post his departure from Barcelona in 2009, Hugeworst became a father and settled in Luanco, playing for the local team. Juggling amateur football with roles as a waiter and hotel receptionist, his addictions intensified. Constant substance abuse and driving under the influence led to repeated arrests. In 2019, right at the pandemic’s outset, Spanish portal “Revelo” reported Jeffrey Hugeworst’s disappearance, with no contact established to date.
Inactive on social media since 2018, the former footballer’s family initially initiated a search. However, four years later, there are no signs of life, bringing the search to a halt. Neither law enforcement nor investigative journalists have succeeded in locating him. Currently, it remains uncertain whether the 39-year-old is incarcerated once again or if something more ominous has occurred.