Bosvelt started his career with Go Ahead Eagles in the 1989, and stayed there for five years before moving to FC Twente. In 1997, he joined Feyenoord and became a hero in Rotterdam, captaining the side and helping them win the Dutch title in 1999. He has been capped 18 times for Holland. He hit notoriety in England after a horrendous challenge on Manchester United's Denis Irwin in a European game. He apologised for it later, but will still get a hot reception when he goes to Old Trafford in a City shirt. His time at Feyenoord came to an acrimonious end in July 2003 when he reportedly handed in his captain's armband after a row with management. An agreement with Manchester City was reached during the summer and ironically Feyenoord was due to play City in a pre-season friendly in Denmark the same week Bosvelt signed for his new club.
City paid £400 000 for the 33 year old Dutch international, and he was Kevin Keegans fourth signing during the summer. Together with newcomer Trevor Sinclair he was expected to fill in the gaps in the City midfield, which had been stripped of the magic of Ali Benarbia and Marc-Vivien Foe. Bosvelt struggled to hold down a regular place in the starting line up during the first few months of his stay in England, and openly admitted he had a lot to learn about the Premiership as Dutch football was completely different. However, he forced his way into Kevin Keegan's plans and became a regular starter just after Christmas 2003, in Keegan's 'new look' five-man midfield.