Marco van Basten is the nickname of Marcel van Basten, a Dutch soccer player and coach who has become European player of the year for the 1988, 1989 and 1992 seasons three times. In 1992, FIFA named him the best footballer in the world.
Marco van Basten: biography
Marco was born 10/31/1964 in the family of semi-professional footballer Joop van Basten and former gymnast Leni van der Borg in the Dutch city of Utrecht. There, at the age of seven, he began his football career. Marco's first club was the local UVV team. After spending ten years in it, the athlete moved to another local club - Elinkwijk. However, his professional career began in 1981, when a seventeen-year-old footballer was spotted by Ajax scouts. Realizing the great prospects, Marco van Basten (the photo is given later in the article) agreed to the offer to play for the famous Amsterdam football club. Ajax trainers and physiologists immediately recognized its great potential. The path of the great striker began with a goal scored in the debut match, which took place on 03/04/1982. In the same game, he replaced the famous Dutch footballer Cruyff.
The following season, Marco van Basten scored the ball into the goal net nine times. Nevertheless, the most important event of 1983 was his debut as part of the Dutch national team, which took place on September 7 in a match against Iceland. His first goal for the Orange team, Marco scored only two weeks later in a very prestigious match against the eternal rival - Belgium.
Star of the national team
Marco was unsurpassed in the Dutch top football league “Eredivizi”, inaccessible to the defenders and merciless to the goalkeepers. He was four times the best scorer of the championship, and in 1986 he was awarded the "Golden Boot", scoring 37 goals in 26 games! During his stay in Ajax, Marco scored 151 goals in 172 games, and this outstanding performance was secured by winning the Cup Winners Cup.
Moving to Milan
Parting with Amsterdam "Ajax" was now only a matter of time. Many famous clubs lined up to sign a contract with van Basten, including Barcelona, but Marco decided to move to Milan, which then reorganized Italian media mogul Silvio Berlusconi. The transfer was a dream deal for the “red-blacks” club, who paid only $ 800 thousand for the 22-year-old Orange star. In the end, two other Dutch superstars, Frank Rijkaard and Ruud Gullit, also became the Rossoneri. At that time, no one could have expected the trio to rule European football for the next five years.
Marco van Basten: the best goals
Nevertheless, the Dutch striker was still ahead. Having missed most of the matches of the season, footballer Marco van Basten (the photo is given in the article) was only a substitute for the Dutch national team at Euro 1988 in West Germany. In the first match, the Netherlands national team showed a rather weak football - the game ended in a loss to the USSR national team. Dutch coach Rinus Michels decided to put Marco in the starting lineup for the next match in the group against the British and hit the bull's-eye with this decision! Utrecht Lebed played one of the best matches in his career, scoring a hat-trick and sending the England team home. And it was just the beginning of a solo performance! In the semifinal match against the championship hosts, Marco scored an incredible goal, literally shoving the ball into the net. It happened in the 88th minute of the match, and thanks to this blow, Holland got to the Euro final, where she met again with the USSR team. In contrast to the group match, the Orange showed excellent football and outdid their opponents. The match ended with the score 2-0 and one of the most outstanding goals in the history of football. At the 54th minute of the game Marco struck at an incredible angle, beating the Soviet goalkeeper. The ball is still considered the most beautiful of those that were scored in the finals of football competitions!
At Euro 88, Marco van Basten scored goals five times, becoming not only the top scorer of the championship, but also his best player.
Marco returned to Milan an even bigger star than he was before the European Championship. In the fall of 1988, he received the two most prestigious awards of France in football - the Golden Ball and the title of Player of the Year by World Soccer. Moreover, he graduated from the 1988/1989 season with 32 titles, three of which are the most prestigious in club football - the European champion (scoring double in the final game against Steaua Bucharest), winner of the Intercontinental Cup and European Super Cup. In addition, Marco once again received the title of the best European football player of the year according to the French football magazine (1989).
The following season, Marco van Basten repeated 19 goals scored in Serie A, but this time he had enough of this number to become the top scorer of the competition. Moreover, the Dutchman was once again successful in European and international club competitions. Unfortunately, the achievements in the national team were completely opposite. The Dutch were considered among the favorites in the race for the World Cup. The reality, however, is completely different. The national team did not win a single match and dropped out of the tournament after a disgraceful match against the Germans, when she lost 1: 2.
At the peak of form
Footballer Marco van Basten next season began with an impressive match against Napoli in Serie A and IFC Gothenburg, during which he scored 4 goals, including an incredible cycling kick in competitions that have since been named the Champions League. In addition, at the end of 1992, Marco won the Golden Ball award for the third time in his career, and was named Player of the Year by both FIFA and World Football Magazine. 12 goals scored in just three months promised him another great season, full of trophies and personal achievements. But it ended suddenly and unexpectedly.
End of career
The ankle injury, which was his nightmare a few years ago, was repeated, only this time it marked the end of his remarkable career. In 1993, the fourth time he went to surgery, Marco felt that it was time to say goodbye to sports. Although the footballer appeared in the final match of the Champions League with Marcel, he was not at all like the great striker who was previously Marco van Basten. Milan was defeated with a 1: 0 score, but worse, lost one of the greatest players in the world. Marco tried to fight the injury for two more years, but eventually he was forced to end his career on August 18, 1995 during the Berlusconi Trophy match. More than 70,000 fans, including the weeping Capello, stood applauding while the outstanding footballer performed a lap of honor.
Back in line
Since 2003, Marco van Basten became involved in coaching as an assistant in the back-up of Ajax, but the following summer he was assigned the role of head coach. The start was good, and the Dutch finished the qualifying matches of the 2006 World Cup without a defeat, but the team left the competition in the second qualifying round.
In March 2006, he played in a match in honor of Demetrio Albertini, scoring a goal before an early substitution in the first half.
In 2008, the legend of "Ajax" became the manager of his former club and ended his career as a coach of the national team, after the team lost to Russia in the quarterfinals of the European Championship in the summer of the same year. Despite his four-year contract with Ajax, in May of 2009, Marco resigned after the club failed to qualify for the European Cup.
After working as a commentator on the Dutch TV channel "Sport 1" in February 2012, Marco returned to the football field as head of the IC "Heerenveen", leading the club to 8th place. Next season the team was already fifth.
On 18.04.2014, AZ Football Club announced that at the beginning of the 2014/2015 season. Marco van Basten will replace Dick Advocaat. But at the end of August, he took a vacation. In September, the parties agreed that Marco would become an assistant coach. In the five matches held under his leadership, the team won twice and lost three times. After a year of work at AZ, he decided to take the vacant position of assistant coach of the Dutch national team. In August 2016, Marco van Basten announced that he was leaving to work in FIFA.
Marco van Basten married Lisbeth van Cappelleven in 1993. The couple had two daughters, Rebecca and Deborah, and a son, Alexander.