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Player Profiles: Marco Van Basten
22.6 || Seamus

If you were a football fan in the late 80ís and early 90ís, you surely know Marco Van Basten and his capabilities.

He was born on the 31st of October 1964 in Utrecth, Netherlands. He began his career with a short lived spell at local side Edilwijk before being whisked off to Dutch super club Ajax in Amsterdam. He played his first game for Ajax in the Eredivise on the 3rd of April 1982 against Nijmegen, fittingly replacing the reigning Dutch football legend Johan Cruyff and even managing to grab a goal in the process. What an unforgettable debut!

By 1986 he was considered as the most complete and lethal forward in Europe. He grabbed the European Golden Boot award with his 37 goals. At Ajax Van Basten won two Dutch Championships, two Dutch Cups and the European Cup Winnersí Cup. He played his final game for Ajax against Dynamo Dresden, winning the European Cup Winners Cup. He had scored 128 league goals in just 143 games at an unprecedented strike rate and was top scorer in Holland 4 times.

In 1987, he was transferred to Milan. He made his debut with on 13th September 1987 in Pisa and again scored a goal as Milan won 3-1.But in 1987-1988 season, he only managed to play 11 games with 3 goals after being plagued by an ankle injury that would haunt him for the rest of his career. Because of this injury, he started the 1988 European Championship as a subtitute. But later on managed to become the best player of the tournament. He scored a fantastic goal, considered as one of the best ever seen in football history.

Later on in Milan, Van Basten was heavily involved in helping the Rossoneri pick up 3 Scudettoís, 2 European Cups, 2 World Club Cups and 2 European Super Cups. He scored an incredible 90 goals in 147 Serie A games. He also grabbed 3 European Footballer of the Year awards, 2 World Player of the Year awards, FIFA World Player of the year and 2 Capocannonere awards as Serie A top marksman. He also marked a 92.3% percentage rate at penalty kicks.

There is one interesting story back in the match in 1991-1992 season. In the match against Cagliari; in the first half Cagliari were leading 1-0. After half time, when all players returning to the field, Fabio Capello, Milan coach, showed the number of 3 with his fingers which showed to Marco Van Basten. Later on, Van Basten scored a hattrick in 18 minutes to help the Rossoneri win the game.

His career ended when he was on the top of the world. After winning the 1992 European Footballer of the year, 1992 world footballer of the year. and helping Milan to win the Scudetto and Champions League title, his career ended because his ankle injuries.

By January 1993, he was operated on for the 4th time. On 18th August 1995, in the Luigi Berlusconi trophy, Marco Van Basten, the greatest European striker of the last 20 years, left football. 85.000 people at San Siro stood up and clapped him. Football fans lost this maestro but always remember him in their hearts. Van Basten had made a legend of himself before his injury dramatically shortened his brilliant career. He was known as one of the complete strikers, able to score with both feet, also great with his head, while also possessing with great vision.

Van Bastenís achievements:
3 Dutch titles
3 Dutch Cups
3 times Dutch League top scorer
3 Italian titles
2 European Super Cups
2 European Cups
2 Intercontinental Cups
1 Cup Winners Cup
2 times Italian League top scorer
1 World Player of the Year award
1 Golden Boot award
3 times European Footballer of the Year
2 World Soccer Player of the Year awards

By Yunus Setiawan

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