Farewell to Ruud, thanks for the memories…
This pic sums up Van Nistelrooy: committed, strong-willed, successful and focused.
Yesterday, Bert van Marwijk did the decent thing. He called former Oranje striker Ruud van Nistelrooy. While every normal person in Holland is considering where to go on a summer’s break, Bert knew Ruud was telling his kids they’d probably go to Ukraine.
Van Marwijk knew the Malaga supersub was silently hoping for a last tournament and informed Van Gol that he would not need his services.
“I’m pleased with the respect Van Marwijk showed me. He knows me well. I would have sit and wait… I’m very keen to play for Oranje still, of course. But I can see that it this hope is idle. I don’t play at my club. Bert has better options, younger options. But…he also asked me if I’d drop my stuff at a moment’s notice if he needed me in case of injuries. And I said YES to that. Of course….”
So, the third most scoring player in the Champions League ( after Raul and Messi) won’t be seen in orange, as it seems.
We honor him here in pictures. The Brabant born boy who made his way from FC Den Bosch and Heerenveen to the top of the Dutch competition with PSV. He scored many goals at the second tier pro division for Den Bosch, but was totally overlooked by the bigger clubs. He didn’t have that golden Dutch touch, like Van Basten and Bergkamp had.
At least then. Or at least, according to the scouts.
But he did have mentality, will. Desire to score. And speed. And a killer instinct. And a strong, fast body. And incredible will. Or did I mention that already?
So he worked and worked. At Heerenveen, with Foppe de Haan to become an even better striker. And when he moved to PSV Eindhoven – a record-signing back then – he kept on working. Practicing, honing his skills, listening to players like Luc Nillis.
He scored 31 goals in 34 matches, the highest season total in the Eredivisie and second-highest in Europe overall, in addition to scoring all three of PSV’s goals in a Champions League match against HJK Helsinki on 25 November 1998. Van Nistelrooy capped off the year by winning the Dutch Player of the Year award. The next season, he won his second Eredivisie scoring title with 29 goals. According to a 2001 interview with The Telegraph, Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson said that his son Darren, who was at tryouts for Eredivisie rival Heerenveen at the time, begged his father, “You’ve got to sign Van Nistelrooy right away, he’s fantastic. We’ve been watching him.” Ferguson sent scouts to PSV’s next league game and signed Van Nistelrooy the next day.
Van Nistelrooy looked set to complete an £18.5 million transfer to Manchester United in the summer of 2000. A press conference had been called to confirm Van Nistelrooy’s arrival, but instead this was used to announce that the transfer had been delayed over concerns about his fitness. Days later, he suffered ruptured cruciate knee ligaments during a training session and the deal was axed.
In this period, his tremendous mentality shone through. Working effortlessly to get back to fitness and when he moved to Man United – with that heavy price-tag around his neck – he told the ManU fans: “This price tag doesn’t put pressure on me. It lifts me up. Manchester United has faith in me.”
His strong will has also been Ruud’s biggest enemy, as he would have ferocious clashes with people close to him. With fellow players like C Ronaldo, but also with his coach and mentor Sir Alex Ferguson and his all time idol Marco van Basten, when San Marco was Dutch team manager.
During his first season, Van Nistelrooy scored 23 goals in 32 league games. He broke the record he shared with Mark Stein, Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry, by scoring in eight consecutive league games. He also scored 10 Champions League goals, and was named the PFA Players’ Player of the Year.
Van Nistelrooy was tremendously successful in Manchester but left the club, apparently after a fight with team mate Cristiano Ronaldo. It was reported that Van Nistelrooy’s exclusion from the squad was due to a training session fight between him and team-mate Cristiano Ronaldo. Van Nistelrooy allegedly criticised Ronaldo’s tendency to hold onto the ball instead of passing to his team-mates, which sparked the fight, after which Van Nistelrooy remarked, “Go crying to your daddy.” This was not a reference to Ronaldo’s father (who had died earlier in the season), but to United’s Portuguese assistant coach Carlos Queiroz.
Van Nistelrooy signed with Spanish La Liga side Real Madrid on 28 July, departing Old Trafford after five seasons with a total of 150 goals in 220 appearances. With 38 goals, he is also the club’s all-time European top goalscorer.
Van Nistelrooy scored a hat-trick in his second league match against Levante and, on 12 November 2006, he scored all four of Real Madrid’s goals in a 4–1 victory over Osasuna. He won the league’s Pichichi award with 25 goals as Real Madrid took home the 2006–07 title, and he also equalled the longest consecutive scoring streak in La Liga history with seven straight matches, tying a league record shared by Hugo Sánchez.
Van Nistelrooy has 70 caps and 35 goals for the Netherlands. He made his debut for the national team in a friendly match against Germany on 18 November 1998. However, the cruciate ligament injury which postponed his transfer to Manchester United also ruled van Nistelrooy out of Euro 2000.
Ruud van Nistelrooy and Patrick Kluivert share the exact birthday and they were destined to be the golden striker due for Oranje ( with Dennis in the hole behind them) but destiny doesn’t always show up for the game ( while Ruud always did).
As the Dutch failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, van Nistelrooy did not make his tournament debut for the Netherlands until Euro 2004, where he and the Czech Republic’s Milan Baroš were the only players to score in all three group stage matches. During a 2006 World Cup qualifying match, he scored in the Dutch’s 4–0 hammering of bottom-placed Andorra and was yellow-carded for going to Andorra player Antoni Lima and celebrating in front of him, following an incident six minutes before when van Nistelrooy missed a penalty and Lima laughed at him. He was a part of coach Marco van Basten’s squad for the 2006 World Cup finals, for which he served as the official FIFA/SOS ambassador. He started, and was substituted, in all of the Netherlands’ group stage matches, and scored his lone goal against the Côte d’Ivoire. Van Nistelrooy was dropped to the bench for the Netherlands’ second round match, which saw them eliminated by Portugal.
This is where Van Basten told the media “he expect more from his striker”. Ruud quipped “What more do you want? I’m scoring goals!” Van Nistelrooy was upset having to read all this criticism in the newspaper instead of hearing it from the horse’s mouth and
refused to play for Oranje.
On 23 January 2007, van Nistelrooy announced his retirement from international football. However, after several phone conversations and at the persuasion of veteran Edwin van der Sar, both player and coach put aside their differences. Van Basten announced four months later that van Nistelrooy was returning to the Oranje. On 8 September, Van Nistelrooy played in the qualifier against Bulgaria, scoring in a 2–0 victory, and scored the winning goal four days later in injury time of the Netherlands’ win over Albania.
At Euro 2008, van Nistelrooy scored for the Netherlands in their decisive 3–0 victory over Italy in the group stage, and scored the equaliser in their eventual 3–1 loss to Russia in the quarter-finals. On 4 August, he again announced his retirement from international competition.
During the build up to the 2010 World Cup van Nistelrooy again made himself available, but was left out by van Marwijk, the Dutch team coach.
After main striker Robin van Persie suffered an injury during a match with his club Arsenal, van Marwijk gave van Nistelrooy a chance to reclaim his position as the main striker of the Netherlands’ national team. Van Nistelrooy was invited to two Netherlands’ Group E qualification matches for Euro 2012 against San Marino and Finland. He scored in the 5–0 victory against San Marino on 3 September 2010.
Pat and Ruud
He was again recalled to the squad in March 2011 for two Euro 2012 qualification games with Hungary, after injuries to strikers Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Arjen Robben and Theo Janssen. In the away game on 25 March he appeared as a late substitute for Dirk Kuyt while in the return game in Amsterdam four days later he came off the bench to score his 35th international goal. adding it is ‘wonderful to be able to add something to this Oranje team’.
As Ruud has a strong friendship with Bert van Marwijk’s son-in-law Mark van Bommel ( both players refused to play under Van Basten post the World Cup 2006) there is a strong bond between coach Van Marwijk and Van Gol. The Dutch team manager, a brilliant people manager, paid his respects to Van Nistelrooy by informing him early that he would be low in the new pecking order behind players like Van Nistelrooy, Van Persie, Kuyt, Luuk de Jong and Ricky van Wolfswinkel…
So, we thank Ruud here and bid him farewell… Who knows, we might seem him back with Oranje with a trenchcoat or training kit?
Ruud’s last international game for Oranje
Heitinga dropped today..just checked twitter and Everton fans are PISSED that Moyes didn’t play him. Quietly become one of the best CBs in England I think you could say..would love to see him move to a bigger club
Posted from Canada
It’s sad that Ruud van Nistelrooijs inernational career didn’t end with a bang like winning the Euros in 2008 or coming along for South Africa in 2010. He was always my favourite Oranje player.
My favourite Ruud goal was in Euro 2004 against Germany. Holland was loosing; time was running out. Ruud receives the ball at an impossible angle and still finds the net in typical Ruud-fashion and leaves Kahn floored and stunned.
Moyes is a strange coach… He reminds me of Italian coaches who have strange ideas all the time…
First he plays a team that wins a few games in a row against some of the best teams in Premier League,then suddenly he changes the team,and struggles to win. Why? No one knows…
Im a little bit sad… RVN what a striker. He was truly madly deeply deadly in the box. For Oranje I think the highlight of his career was that goal against ze Germans, and that build up play for the Robben goal at EU2008, remeber it guys?
Besides his true poacher insticts, this man had a tremendous BALANCE. fck, he was great at it. If you saw him running the channels and were a defender, there was no way you could stop him. The defenders couldnt bring him down to save their lives.
Posted from Greece
Like who Brijnen?
Liverpool? ha ha ha
Nice post Jan, love Van gol, willl never forget the goal vs the Germans either. Will be missed. Hope Luuk de Jong can become the man
Posted from Australia
Apparently van Persie has the second most clearances by a striker and has covered the second most ground in the premier league.
Posted from United States
Watching Manu vs qpr. Another massive referee mistake. Yesterday Chelsea was allowed to score an offside goal. Today Manu gets a penalty for a non foul whilev the man u player was offside! And qpr even got a red card! Disgusting!!
FIFA ranking for April (FIFA will publish the ranking on April 11th) :
Spain remains on top, Germany up to 2nd, Uruguay climb to 3rd, Netherlands drop to 4th. Italy out of the top 10, replaced by Denmark.
April 2012 rank – Team – April 2012 points – +/- Ranking – +/- Points
1 Spain 1442 0 -119
2 Germany 1345 1 13
3 Uruguay 1309 1 20
4 Netherlands 1207 -2 -172
5 Portugal 1190 2 84
6 Brazil 1165 -1 8
7 England 1132 -1 11
8 Croatia 1114 2 65
9 Denmark 1069 2 44
10 Argentina 1066 -2 -36
11 Russia 1049 1 46
12 Italy 1041 -3 -21
13 Chile 967 1 17
14 Greece 961 -1 8
15 Côte d’Ivoire 951 0 7
16 France 938 0 0
17 Sweden 931 0 5
18 R. Ireland 891 1 19
18 Switzerland 891 0 0
20 Mexico 868 2 19
He was one of the best striker of his generation. Probably the best even when it comes to scoring goals. He was not as talented as Messi, henry, ronalo or Rooney byt his sheer hardwork and that killer instince wsa a difference. its shame he never won any major tophy, 3 times champions league top scorer but neve won it. He was in United team which was in a rebuilding phase and when united got better with Rooney and ROnaldo they sold him, at Real Madrid he was in a madrid side which was a at its worst in the last few decades still he won them the league title single handedly in 2007. What a player, what a goal scorer…we will miss you ruud.
His fan since 1999.
RVN one of the best ever!!! Sad that he didn’t win a trophy for Oranje.
Posted from United States
Lol Liverpool would arguably be a drop down..he would fit in at Bayern also would love to see him go to Spurs or Arsenal
Posted from Canada
@SamDC: To be fair, other than the EC88 squad, not too many players have won a major trophy for Oranje…
Haha, Madrid draws again! APril 23 is El Clasico. Real might lose out again!! Exciting… The title race is England seems over. Man City imploded against a very strong Arsenal! I can see Mancini and Ballotelli leave. And if was Pep I’d sign Vincent Kompany.
Seriously I heard the commentator say (not sure myself) that ManC had NO shots on goal ??? Arsenal totally dominated and 4-0 would not have been an exaggerrated score. Balotelli has to have the brains of a retarded flea ? What an idiot !! at least 3 studs up tackles ?? vP played well !! Song the best tho.
Serious Question – Why does Belgium do so badly when they must have one of the worlds BEST backlines – Kompany, Vertongen, Vermaelen van Buyten ??? and maybe that also answers all you Dutch Defence critics – a great defence does not guarantee great results.
Posted from Singapore
I agree Brijnen, he would fit in well at those clubs. I think, though, the more important factor for Oranje’s sake is not how big the club is, but whether he would be playing regularly.
Well said Carlos. Apart from those defenders, they have Mertens, Witzel, Dembele, Martens, Felaini…. Who wouldn’t want to be Belgium Team manager….?
I’m afraid Balotelli is poison. If I had anything to say at City I’d kick him out. The guy is a nut. Cheats on his gorgeous girlfriend with the same prostitute Rooney “enjoyed”. Is begging for yellow and red cards and has a go at team mates if he loses the ball… What a moron.
Mancini is as guilty for playing him and keeping him on the pitch. In the first 20 minutes it was clear that he would get a red card sometime in this game. Sagna did milk it though, but geez…
If you have Tevez and Dzeko, why use this nutcase?
So, my prediction: balotelli out, Mancini out. I’m sure Mourinho will be on the list. Maybe Hiddink? Maybe Van Gaal? Low?
And expect a huge offer by City for Van Persie. Which he won’t take, by the way. Robin will stay at Arsenal, I’m sure.
The quarterfinal with Russia ended with terrible score, but I will never forget that moment when Ruud scored an equaliser! And another goal at euro 2004 with Germany – what a beautiful goal!
Me temo que Balotelli es un veneno. Si yo tuviera algo que decir en el City me echarlo. El tipo es un loco. Engaña a su hermosa novia con la prostituta misma Rooney “disfrutado”. ¿Está pidiendo tarjetas amarillas y rojas y tiene un ir a sus compañeros de equipo si pierde la pelota … ¡Qué idiota.
Posted from Taiwan
Ruud Van Gol is probably the REASON why I started following Dutch Football..The First time I saw RVN play was back in 2001, I was 13 years old sitting in a bar in London and watching a Man Utd champions league fixture.
He is my favorite player and always will be ! God Bless you RVN!
Posted from Hong Kong
We want RVN in the Euro2012 roster, just as much as we want Miroslav Klose in WC2014!
Posted from Australia
7jPPUA I really liked your blog post.Thanks Again. Want more.
ghqlsl Thanks again for the blog post.Much thanks again.
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