Marco Van Basten

19 Jul


Marco Van Basten is one of the greatest strikers in world football. He was world player of the year in 1988 and 1992.While he won the European footballer of the year award thrice in 1988, 89, and 1992.However his glorious career was brought to an early end due to injury. Marco Van Basten was born at Utrecht, Holland on 31st October 1964.When he was seven, he joined UVV a local team. After been with them for a decade he joined Elinkwijk another club in Utrecht.

 Ajax found this gem in 1981 and his football career got a launch pad with Ajax. Van Basten made his debut for Ajax with a goal, after replacing another Dutch legend Cryuff as a substitute, against Nijmegen at De Meer stadium. With Ajax, Van Basten won two, Dutch cups, Dutch championships as well as one European cup winners’ cup. During his Ajax days, he became one of the prolific strikers in Europe. He amassed 151goals for Ajax from mere 143 games, which speaks volumes about his talent. In 1986, Van Basten won the European golden boot for scoring 37 goals from 26 matches. Van Basten injured during 1986 season and carried on playing without undergoing surgery. In 1987, Van Basten joined AC Milan in a transfer deal worth $ 800,000.Even though AC Milan won the scudetto that year, Van Basten featured only in 11 matches due to that old injury.

He started his international career against Iceland in 1983.In the 1988 European championship, Holland had to prove their mettle after failing to qualify for 1982 and 1986 world cups.van Basten was the part of the trio of deadly strikers, which included Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gullit. They were together at Milan too. Van Basten scored five goals in that championship which includes a hat trick against the England and winning goal in semi-final against West Germany. In final, there came the stunning Van Basten goal, a long volley that looped past the Soviet Union goalie. Holland won the championship 2-0.He was the tournament’s top scorer. However, 1990-world cup was a forgettable experience for van basten as they did not even win a match and had an unceremonious exit. In 1992 European championship, Holland lost their semi-final match against Denmark on penalties .Van Basten was unfortunate to miss a crucial penalty.

 In 1988 Van Basten won the Ballon d ‘Or as well as world footballer of the year for his exploits in league as well as European championship. He had a great 1989/1989 season with AC Milan as he scored 32 goals to power them to European super cup, European champions cup as well as intercontinental cup. In 1990, also Van basten continued his scoring prowess to lead AC Milan to scudetto, European champions cup though he scored only 19 goals. Van Basten had a poor 1991 season as per his high standard as he scored only 11 goals. He came back strongly with 25 goals in 1992 season as Milan won Scudetto again. He went on to win world player of the year. Injuries marred his 1993 season and he had to two operations on ankle. However, he scored 13 goals in just 15 amazing run of matches.1993 European cup final turned to be his last competitive match, which sadly ended in a 1-0 loss to Olympique Marseilles. Later UEFA awarded AC Milan the European cup as they found out match fixing of Marseilles in French league.

He played 147 games for Milan and scored 90 goals. He played only 58 matches for Holland scoring 24 goals in the process. After failing to recover from injuries, the master striker bid adieu to football in 1995.Being a deadly striker cost Van Basten his career due to rash tackles from defenders.

Van Basten started his managerial career with Second-string team of Ajax during 2003/2004 season. He took over the reins of Holland National team in 2004.He lead Holland to the round of 16 of 2006 world cup, where they lost to Portugal. Van Basten’s Holland team had a magical run in 2008-euro cup. However, they lost to Russia in quarterfinal. He left the reigns of national team in 2008 to be the manager of Ajax. However, he resigned from his position in 2009 as club failed to qualify for UEFA champions’ league. Marco Van Basten goals will always remain in the memory of football fans.

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