Marco van Basten

Marco van Basten bigraphy, stories - Dutch footballer and manager

Marco van Basten : biography

31 October 1964 –

Marcel "Marco" van Basten ( 31 October 1964) is a Dutch football manager and former football player, who played for Ajax and 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, but played his last game in 1993 at the age of 28 due to an injury which caused his retirement two years later. He was later the head coach of 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 1999, Van Basten was ranked tenth in the European player of the Century election held by the IFFHS, and he was voted twelfth in the IFFHS’ "World Player of the Century" election. In 2004, Pelé named Van Basten one of the 125 best living footballers in his FIFA 100 list. 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, behind Johan Cruyff. In March 2007, Sky Sports ranked Van Basten first on its list of great athletes who had their careers cut short.



AFC Ajax
  • Eredivisie: 1981–82, 1982–83, 1984–85
  • KNVB Cup: 1982–83, 1985–86, 1986–87
  • UEFA Cup Winners Cup: 1986–87
AC Milan
  • Serie A: 1987–88, 1991–92, 1992–93
  • Supercoppa Italiana: 1988, 1992
  • European Cup: 1988–89, 1989–90
  • European Supercup: 1989, 1990
  • Intercontinental Cup (2): 1989, 1990
  • UEFA European Championship: 1988
  • Nasazzi’s Baton: 1985

Individual honours

  • Dutch League Top Scorer: 1983–84, 1984–85, 1985–86, 1986–87
  • Dutch Footballer of the Year: 1984–85
  • European Silver Boot: 1983–84
  • European Golden Boot: 1985–86
  • World Golden Boot: 1985–86
  • Bravo Award: 1987
  • Onze d’Argent: 1987, 1992
  • Onze d’Or: 1988, 1989
  • IFFHS Best Player of the Year: 1988, 1989, 1990
  • World Soccer Player of the Year: 1988, 1992
  • Ballon d’Or: 1988, 1989, 1992
  • UEFA European Championship 1988 Top Scorer and Best Player with 5 goals
  • UEFA Best Player of the Year: 1989, 1990, 1992
  • Serie A Silver Top Scorer: 1988–89
  • Serie A Top Scorer: 1989–90, 1991–92
  • European Cup Top Scorer: 1989
  • European Cup Silver Top Scorer: 1993
  • FIFA World Player of the Year: 1992
  • FIFA 100 (List of the greatest living footballers picked by Pelé): 2004

Playing career

Early years

Van Basten was born on 31 October 1964 in Utrecht. He began playing for a local team, EDO, when he was six years old. A year later, he moved to UVV Utrecht. After nine years there, he briefly played for another club from Utrecht, Elinkwijk.

AFC Ajax

AFC Ajax signed Van Basten for the 1981–82 season. He played his first game for Ajax in April 1982, scoring a debut goal in the 5–0 victory over NEC.

In the 1982–83 season, he competed with the European top scorer Wim Kieft for the position of centre forward, and scored nine goals in 20 league matches. After Kieft left for Serie A club Pisa the next season, Van Basten solidified his position as the team’s main attacker.

He became a top scorer in the league for four seasons from 1983–84 to 1986–87, scoring 117 goals in 112 matches. In the 1985–86 season, he scored 37 goals in 26 league matches, including six goals against Sparta Rotterdam and five against Heracles Almelo, and won the European Golden Boot. He also scored the winning goal in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final against Lokomotive Leipzig in 1987.