It would be in the 2001/02 season that Van der Meyde established himself as starter at Ajax. After a turbulent first half to the season, Ronald Koeman was instated as the head coach. Van der Meyde would become an integral part in the rebuilding of the team, and would make the number 7 position his own. The 01/02 season would end in huge success for both player and club, as Ajax conquered the double.
The success would continue in the 2002/03 season. Van der Meyde had fast become a key member of a young and successful team -- one that included stars such as Zlatan Ibrahimović, Rafael van der Vaart, Cristian Chivu, and Ahmed Hossam Mido. The club's Champions League run would be the major highlight, as Ajax marched past the likes of Lyon, Rosenborg, Valencia, Arsenal, and AS Roma, against whom Van der Meyde scored an away goal (1-1), thanks to which Ajax advanced to the competition's second group stage.
Having played 86 league games for Ajax, Van der Meyde's pedigree had been proved; and a move to one of the bigger teams in Europe was imminent.
He would be remembered for his spectacular goal against Arsenal in the 2003-04 Champions League match at Highbury. After 29 appearances (18 in the league) for Inter in the 2004/05 season, van der Meyde was informed that he could find another club. Strong speculation suggested an Ajax return, with additional reported interest from Monaco and Tottenham but, on August 31, 2005 he agreed to join English club Everton F.C. for £2m.
In the summer of 2006, van der Meyde proved once again to be the centre of much speculation regarding his future, having failed to properly settle at Everton, making only 11 appearances in his first season thanks to a combination of injuries and rumours of alcoholism. He staunchly denied any such allegations and reaffirmed his commitment to Everton in June 2006, stating "I want to stay, I am desperate to stay. I love it here. Everything suits my game. I'm happy in England and I want to show everyone that I can really play football. If I get the chance next season, I will do it.
Van der Meyde was admitted to hospital in the early hours of August 7, with breathing problems. It was claimed that his drink had been spiked whilst in a bar in Liverpool. He was fined by Everton for breach of discipline. To further add to a miserable week, his house was burgled during Everton's friendly with Athletic Bilbao five days later. His Ferrari, Mini Cooper, and dog were amongst the items stolen. The cars and pet dog were since found, although the Ferrari had its windscreen smashed. In March 2007, van der Meyde accused manager David Moyes of telling 'downright lies' in regard to his fitness. He apologised afterwards.
In July 2007, van der Meyde played a full 90 minutes in Coleraine, Northern Ireland. In arguably his most successful pre-season at the club, he went on to complete several friendly matches in an attempt to gain fitness ahead of the new Premier League campaign. However, van der Meyde further cast a doubt over his Everton future by failing to turn up for a scheduled training session. After a string of disciplinary problems, rumours (which proved to be inaccurate) grew that Moyes would opt to sell the player before the end of the transfer window.
On August 18, van der Meyde was suspended following a 'breach of club discipline', because he had failed to appear at training, being fined two weeks' wages, a total of £50,000. To date, he has not made a first team appearance since and has been limited to just reserve team football.
On the 10th of June it had been reported that Austrian team Red Bull Salzburg were interested in reviving his football career by trying to buy him
In the summer of 2004, van der Meyde helped Holland reach the semi-finals of Euro 2004. His inclusion into the squad was, however, not endorsed by Johan Cruijff, who declared that, as long as the winger was in the squad, the team would not stand a chance to win the title . In spite of such criticism, van der Meyde managed to feature in four matches in the build-up to the semi-finals, being however overlooked for the semi-final game against Portugal. After EURO 2004, when Marco van Basten took over as national team coach, he has not received a call-up to the Dutch national team since.