Friday, December 23, 2011

Marco van Basten

Marcel "Marco" van Basten ( 31 October 1964) is a Dutch football manager and former football player, who played for AFC Ajax and A.C. Milan, as well as the Dutch national team, in the 1980s and early 1990s. He is regarded as one of the greatest forwards of all time and has scored 277 goals in a high-profile career, which ended in 1995 as a result of an injury suffered two years earlier.

He was later the head coach of AFC Ajax and the Dutch national team.

Known for his strength on the ball, his tactical awareness and spectacular strikes and volleys, van Basten was named European Footballer of the Year three times (1988, '89 and '92) and FIFA World Player of the Year in 1992. Van Basten was voted eighth in a poll organised by the French weekly magazine France Football consulting their former Ballon d'Or winners to elect the Football Player of the Century. In 2004, a nationwide poll was held for the 100 greatest Dutch people (De Grootste Nederlander) and van Basten was number 25, the second highest for a football player.

In March 2007, Sky Sports ranked van Basten first on its list of great athletes who had their careers cut short.

International Career
Van Basten's talent was already noticed at a young age and he was called up for the 1983 FIFA World Youth Championship. He made his senior debut that same year. At the UEFA Euro 1988, van Basten scored a total of five goals, including a hat trick against England, the winning goal in the semi-final against West Germany, and a spectacular volley in the final against the Soviet Union. He was the tournament's top scorer and was the only player to score more than two goals.

The Dutch national team exited early in the World Cup in the 1990 FIFA World Cup, losing to West Germany in the second round. Van Basten never scored in the World Cup Finals.

The Netherlands reached the semi-final of UEFA Euro 1992 when they lost to Denmark in a penalty shootout, with Peter Schmeichel saving a penalty shot from van Basten.

From :