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Marco van Basten “Swan of Utrecht”

Marco van Basten

Marco van Basten

van Basten, or “Swan of Utrecht” was born in Utrecht on October 31, 1964. He started playing just at the age of 6, for a local club EDO.

Playing for a year at EDO, he then joined UVV Utrecht. Marco played at the club for nine years and moved to USV Elinkwijk as a teenager.

Club Career

In 1981, he signed his professional contract with Ajax. Marco made his debut for Ajax on April 3, 1982 and his 1st goal came in that match against NEC.

The next season, he worked for the center forward position and successfully got it, scoring 9 goals in the league.

European Golden Boot award

Marco van Basten earned the European Golden Boot award in 1985-1986 season, scoring 37 goals. After scoring the winning goal of 1986-1987 UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup; he was the top scorer for 4 seasons.

He scored 128 goals for Ajax, including his most popular goal, a scissors kick, against FC Den Bosch in 1986.

AC Milan

Marco van Basten transferred to AC Milan in 1987. He unfortunately suffered from injury in that season and couldn’t help Milan’s Scudetto victory, since he played in 11 games only.

Marco enjoyed success in the 1988-1989 season. He scored two goals in UEFA Champions League final and won the tournament. Scoring 19 goals in Serie A in the year, he earned Ballon d’Or.

Top Scorer of Serie A

Van Basten helped Milan retain the European Cup in 1989-1990, providing an assist as they defeated Benfica by 1-0. Marco became the leading goal scorer of Serie-A in that season also.

In 1991-1992 season, Milan won the Scudetto after losing the Scudetto of the previous season. Marco became Capocannoniere, the top scorer of Serie A, scoring 25 goals which was a record.

FIFA World Player of the Year.

Marco van Basten scored all the 4 goals in 4-0 victory over Göteborg during 1992 UEFA Champions League. He was the 1st player doing so. Van Basten, a month later, got selected as FIFA World Player of the Year.

Marco unfortunately missed many matches in 1992-1993 due to surgeries. He came back before the 1992-1993 UEFA Champions League final, as Milan finished runners-up to Marseille.

UEFA Champions League

He expected to go on playing but Marco kept undergoing surgeries after that. Van Basten couldn’t join 1993-1994 UEFA Champions League as Milan won the tournament. He also missed the 1993-1994 Serie A victory.

International Career

Marco van Basten played for the Netherlands national team from 1981 to 1992.

Being a great striker and impressing everyone; Marco got selected for 1983 FIFA World Youth Championship squad. He made his 1st appearance for the senior team in that year.

Victory in Euro 1988

Marco van Basten led the national team to victory in Euro 1988, scoring 5 goals and becoming the top scorer.

World Cup 1990

He participated in World Cup 1990 but sadly, he couldn’t score as the Netherlands got knocked out by West Germany.

Euro 1992

Two years later, Van Basten played in Euro 1992 and got the European Championship Team of the Tournament award. However, the Netherlands lost to Denmark in the semi-finals after the goalkeeper saved Marco’s penalty shot.


On August 17, 1995 Marco retired from football playing career after getting left out due to his injuries. His retirement made everyone sad, since he was one of the best strikers.

See also Maradona, Juan Sebastián Verón, SaviolaDi StefanoMarcell Desailly, Ruud Gullit, Jürgen Klinsmann

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