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|Marco Van Basten (Striker)
|31st October, 1964
|Clubs: AFC Ajax, AC Milan
|Netherlands National Football Team
|World Cup Played:
|Played 1990 World Cup
It was Marco Van Basten’s outstanding records in his short-term career that shot him to fame. The man, also known as the Swan of Utrecht is one of the greatest strikers of all time, who in his high-profile career has made some of the most fascinating records and earned several honors in the high energy game. He was ranked sixth in the Player of the century poll held in 1999 and regarded as one of the 125 greatest living footballers by the Brazilian football legend, Pele. He came second in a 2004 nationwide survey in Netherlands held for the 100 greatest Dutch people.
Born on October 31st 1964, in the Dutch city of Utrecht, Marco Van Basten is the son of former semi-professional football player Joop Van Basten. Marco’s father realized his passion for football when he was at the tender age of 4. He watched his son making different kinds of solo-runs against the children who were one or two years older than him. When Marco Van Basten reached the age of 6, his father took him to the local football club EDO. One year later, he then switched to a more amateur club known as UVV Utrecht and played for a long time there.
His real potential was noticed by a professional club when he was at the age of 11. In UVV club, he was observed by the trainers to be standing out against his fellow trainees and peers every time. Then Leo Beenhakker of Feynoord football club spotted him and tried hard to transfer him to Rotterdam but his father Joop Van Basten refused to allow him to go far away and said it was detrimental for his stable development. Though his father was harsh in this respect but arguably played an important role in harnessing the game of soccer in his son. He watched his every move and gave utmost attention than others in the family. He told his son to make notes of his game by meticulously watching matches on the television.
After sometime he was finally selected for the under-16 national football team and also took training from a local professional football club FC Utrecht who also made unsuccessful attempts to pull him into a contract. Afterwards, he was selected by AFC Ajax for the 1981- 82 season and played until the year 1987. He then switched to Italian football club AC Milan in 1987 and played 11 games and was continuously troubled by an ankle injury which occurred in March 1986. His troublesome ankle injury recurred in a match against A.C Ancona in 1992-93 season, forcing him to quit playing and undergo another series of surgery. After that he played for a few games more and finally took retirement at the age of 29 failing to defeat his ankle injury. He then went on to coach several football clubs after his retirement and is currently managing Heerenveen football club since 2012.
SCORE BOARD :
Marco Van Basten has been well-known for his strength on the ball, pre-emptive awareness and remarkable strike and volleys on the ground. Although his senior career was short it was remarkable due to the immense success he garnered. Beginning his senior career with AFC Ajax, he played for the position of centre forward with WimKieft who was the top European scorer at that time. He scored in this season 9 goals in 20 league matches. He went on to become the top scorer in the league for four seasons, scoring 117 goals in 112 matches besides scoring 37 goals in 26 league matches for the season 1985-86, ultimately winning the European Golden Boot. He also scored the winning goal against Lokomotive Leipzig in UEFA Cup Winners Cup finals in 1987.
In 1987, A.C Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi signed Van Basten for the club membership. Under the same club he played brilliantly and won the Ballon d’Or award as Europe’s top player. He scored 19 goals in Serie A and two goals in the finals of the UEFA Champions League helping his club to win against Steaua Bucuresti. He became the leading goal scorer in the 1989-90 season and help his team secure the European Cup after defeating Benfica in the final match. In November 1992, he became the only footballer to score 4 goals in a single UEFA Champions league match, the record which remained intact for 20 years. In his career he has been honored with several awards both at individual and team level. Under A.C Milan, he helped his club win the Intercontinental Cup twice in 1989 and 1990 and UEFA European Championship in 1988. He was awarded with the European Silver boot in 1983-84, World Soccer Player of the Year twice, and FIFA World Player of the Year 1992.
EXTRA TIME :
Marco Van Basten married Eliesbeth Van Cappeleveenin 1993 and has one son Alexander, and two daughters, Rebecca and Angelica. Besides coaching, he has once served as a commentator for a Dutch sports television channel. He has never been involved in any media scandals in his lifetime and has a clean public image so far.
TIE BREAKER :
Marco Van Basten is considered one of the greatest strikers in the game of soccer and is a living inspiration for millions of his fans worldwide.