Name: Marcel VAN BASTEN
Born: October 31st 1964, Utrecht, Netherlands
Height: 1,88 m 6ft 2in
Quickness to react and intelligence to read and to decide the best options; powerful and accuracy shooting and heading; brilliant technique according to his size
1988 – 1st place – European Championship (Netherlands)
1989 and 1990 – European Champions Cup (AC Milan)
1987 – Uefa Cup Winners Cup (Ajax)
1988-1992-1993 – Italia League Winner (AC Milan)
1982-1983-1985 – Holland League Winner (Ajax);
1989-1990 – Intercontinental Cup (AC Milan)
Marco Van Basten was one of the world top strikers for almost a decade. He only played for two teams along his career, Ajax and AC Milan but scored a lot of decisive and beautiful goals for both these clubs.
He started very young to play with Ajax, and before he turned 20 he was already indisputable in the starting eleven. He did four amazing seasons there, helping the club to win three leagues and a UEFA Winners Cup in 1987, with the decisive goal scored by him against Leipzig in the final.
Then the big transfer to AC Milan, where he would win more three leagues and mainly, two European Cups and two Intercontinental Cups. He was part of one of the best football teams ever, with his fellow country mates, Gullit and Rijkaard and other Italian class players. That AC Milan team conquered the world and played a demolition football smashing teams like Real Madrid or Steaua Bucharest. Marco was a nuclear player to this team, scoring most of the team goals, including of course decisive ones.
With his National team he achieved the Europe crown in 1988, starting the tournament on the bench but ending it as the top scorer, including a fantastic goal in the final against USSR. Maybe his career frustration is never playing decently at a World Cup, with only one presence, but below his level, in the 1990 WC. Apart from this failure, his trophy room is rich and he must feel happy with his career.
Sadly he had to retire very soon from football, playing his last competitive game before doing 30 years old. But his impact was immense and most of the football lovers that lived in the 80s and early 90s will say that Van Basten was the best striker they saw and his elegance of play is rarely seen in such a tall player.
I remember seeing the 1987 Uefa Cup Winners final where he scored a good headed goal to win the cup, but only in 1988 I started to know him better. It was on a June afternoon, during the European Championships when Netherlands played against England, and he scored a hat trick on that game. Really impressive the way he scored the goals with his majestic style, very clever and clinical. Later on the tournament he would score a decisive goal against West Germany, but the best memory ever from him is the goal he scored in the final against the USSR, which is a monument to football, everybody agrees.
After 1988, AC Milan emerged as the best team in the universe, it was great to see their run to the European Cup Title. They played amazing football and many goals, with Van Basten scoring a brace against the Steaua in the 1989 final. The Italian league was also very well known on that period and every week we could see his great goals. It was a pleasure to see as a spectator that wonderful harmony of the AC Milan team. A hat trick against Gothenburg is another game I remember, and one of the goals was a bicycle kick!
Marco had a decent Euro 1992 tournament but failed a decisive penalty kick in the semis against Denmark. I remember well the unfairness sense after that game as Netherlands played better. Plagued with injuries his last career years were sad with more time spent on the medical treatment department than in the field and he couldn´t even make the 1994 World Cup.