One of only three players in Arsenal’s history to have a statue outside the Emirates stadium, Dennis Bergkamp is one of the Gunners’ finest players so join us as we take an in depth look through his career in this Dennis Bergkamp biography:
Dennis Nicolaas Maria Bergkamp, simply known as Dennis Bergkamp is one of the most elegant players to ever play football. The Dutchman made a name for himself playing forAjax
in the late 80s and early 90s before having spell at Inter Milan and Arsenal before retiring from football in 2006. His time with the Gunners resulted in one of the best eras of the club, something which Bergkamp had a huge hand in, and thus he deservedly has become one of Arsenal’s greatest players.
The Non-Flying Dutchman is one of Netherlands best ever players and is their joint 4th top goal scorer with 37 goals in 79 matches. Among his many team and individual achievements, Dennis Bergkamp has notably been in the run-in for the Ballon d’Or award twice in 1992 and 1993 with him coming 3rd and 2nd respectively. By winning many trophies with Ajax and Arsenal, Bergkamp has become an important figure in both clubs and has established himself as a true icon of the game.
So now that the brief introduction is out of the way, Let’s take an extensive look at
Dennis Bergkamp biography
to see how his journey as a footballer went
So let’s start Dennis Bergkamp bio with a general information about his physical attributes and his position on the pitch:
Full Name: Dennis Nicolaas Maria Bergkamp
Nickname: Non-Flying Dutchman, the Iceman
Profession: Technical staff at Almere City
Height: 183 cm (6 ft 0 in)
Eye Color: Blue
Hair Color: Blonde
Professional Debut: 14 December 1986
Jersey Number: 10
Date of Birth: 10 May 1969
Birth Place: Amsterdam, Netherlands
In this part of Dennis Bergkamp biography we are taking a look at
Dennis Bergkamp childhood
and how his football development went. Dennis Bergkamp, who was born to Wim and Tonnie Bergkamp in the city of Amesterdam, was the youngest of four brothers in a working-class family.
Dennis Bergkamp date of birth
is 10 May 1969. His father was actually an amateur footballer and part time electrician who named Dennis Bergkamp after Manchester United’s legend Denis Law.
He was also brought up in a rather religious family, with them attending the church every weekend which Bergkamp admitted did not interest him that much but as far as
Dennis Bergkamp religion
goes, he considers himself a catholic and still maintains his faith although perhaps not as devoutly as his parents.
According to an interview he did with the Four Four Two magazine back in 2011, Dennis Bergkamp childhood was spent admiring his footballing heroes Glen Huddle, whom he admired for his sublime way of playing, and the legendary Johan Cruijff, who at one point managed Bergkamp. He joined Ajax when he was 11 years old and went through the ranks of the academy until he was given his debut by his idol Johan Cruijff at the age of 17 in 1986 in a match against Roda JC.
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In this section of
Dennis Bergkamp biography
we take a look at his career as a footballer in the different teams that he played throughout his career, starting with his boyhood club Ajax:
First let’s take a look at Dennis Bergkamp’s club career as well as his time with the Dutch national team:
It didn’t take long for Dennis to find the net after being given his debut in 1986 and he went on to score his first professional goal for Ajax months later against HFC Haarlem in the February of 1987. It was there that
Dennis Bergkamp life story
as we know it began because soon he found himself a regular starter at Ajax and quickly developed into one of the most elegant players that Ajax fans had ever seen, someone who dazzled on the pitch like Cruijff and scored outrageous goals like van Bastin.
Although his professional career started in the mid-80’s it wasn’t until the start of the 1990s that Bergkamp hit the best form of his Ajax career, picking up two consecutive Dutch Footballer of the year award in 1991 and 1992. His great form which earned him 3 Eredivisie top goal scorer award between 1990 and 1993 and also helped Ajax win 2 domestic cups, 1 Eredivise title, 1 European Cup Winners’ Cup and aUEFA Cup
, most of which came at the end of his time at Ajax.
In fact, his best ever goal tally in a single season was in his last season with Ajax where he scored 33 goals in all competitions and he was subsequently named 3rd in the race for the Ballon d’Or trophy, losing out to his countryman, Marco van Bastin. Bergkamp ended up scoring 122 goals in 237 matches but it was time for a new challenge for the Dutchman who wanted to become the world’s best.
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With Bergkamp winning everything short of aChampions League
title and nearly becoming a Ballon d’Or winner, it was time for new experiences and Serie A seemed like the perfect place to go, since it was Europe’s best league at the time. And who better to join than Internazionale, a club that was founded with the idea of nurturing foreign players and who had a Ballon d’Or winner like Lothar Matthaus playing for them.
Although Bergkamp’s first six months at Inter were great, with him being named 2nd and almost winning the Ballon d’Or, his form soon began to drop with him managing to score 18 goals in his first season. Unfortunately for him he couldn’t have joinedInter
at a worse time as the club was struggling with form and ended up sacking a manager mid-season. Inter finished the season 13th and a point above relegation but the consolation prize was in the UEFA Cup where Bergkamp became the competition’s top scorer and Inter won the competition.
The second season atSerie A
however, went even worse than the first one which saw Bergkamp lose his spot in the first team. His demeanor on and off the pitch, which was mainly due to his shyness, caused the media and Inter fans to criticize him heavily. For a technically gifted player like Bergkamp this kind of environment is the worst so it wasn’t a surprise when he decided to leave Inter after only two seasons, particularly after Massimo Moratti’ acquirement of Inter which promised a wholesale changes of the squad.
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Bergkamp came to a turbulentArsenal
in 1995 but it was after a couple of managerial changes and the appointment of Arsene Wenger in 1996 that Bergkamp was turned into the legend he is today. Although criticized harshly at first by the media where he was accused of moving to Arsenal purely because of financial reasons, Bergkamp soon proved that he had higher ambitions than that and soon became one of the best ever Premier League players and the first genuine star that move to the league.
His presence helped Premier League grow and be a place for superstars. Players like Henry, Pires, Ljunberg and van Persie were mentored by him in his style of play and picked up a lot his traits. During Arsene Wenger’s tenure as manager, Bergkamp was paired with a lot of phenomenal strikers, namely Ian Wright, Anelka, Kanu and Thierry Henry. His unforgettable partnership with Thierry Henry became a career defining partnership as two of the best strikers in Premier League history linked up together to score and assist goals and create magic in Highbury stadium.
It wasn’t long until Arsenal was winning trophies and they ended up winning an incredible Double in the 1997-98, which was Bergkamp’s best season in Arsenal colors, where he scored 16 in the league and assisted 11. He would go on to repeat the feat of winning the Double in the 2001-02 season as well before achieving the impossible, or we should say improbable in this case, of winning a league title without losing a single match in 2003, a feat that earned them the nickname Invincibles.
Bergkamp won anotherFA Cup
title in 2005 before retiring from football a year later. His testimonial match was the first ever game held at the Emirates stadium, between former Ajax players and former Arsenal teammates.
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Dennis Bergkamp nationality
is Dutch and he made his debut for Netherlands in 26 September 1990 against Italy and went on to represent his country in 5 major tournaments.
Although he didn’t win any major trophies with Oranje, he was their standout player in those tournaments and managed to score 3 goals in Euro 92, where he won the top goal scorer award, and both 94 and 98 World Cups.
His goal against Argentina in extra-time which took Oranje to the semis of 98 World Cup is perhaps Bergkamp’s standout moment with Netherlands national team.
An elegant, technically-gifted player who also possessed the ability to create chances out of nothing, both for himself and his teammates, Bergkamp mainly functioned as a second striker, although he played the role of a lone striker or even an attacking midfielder as well. Because of his great passing and dribbling ability and his ability to score goals from long-range Dennis Bergkamp usually excelled when he was deployed in a deeper role behind a target man.
Hailed as one of the best playmakers ever, Dennis Bergkamp played that role especially well in his Arsenal days. Although he mainly preferred to create chances, Bergkamp was quite an accomplished goal scorer as well, having won 6 Top Goal Scorer award in various competitions. He specialized in scoring beautiful goals and he usually went for the incredible instead of just scoring a simple goal, with his signature inside-foot curls being his most prominent finishing move.
Bergkamp would quite often drift behind the opposition’s box, where a modern playmaker would play, and from there he could just see opportunities that no one else could which resulted in some of the most outrageous assists inPremier League
or Champions League history.
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Generally regarded as one of the best Dutch players of all time and one of the most gifted players ever, Bergkamp is almost universally adored and respected by football fans and critics all around the world. He is particularly loved among the Arsenal fans, with many believing him to be their greatest ever player. Arsenal Football Club also shares their fans’ opinion as they have erected a statue of him outside their home stadium, a privilege that only two other players, Thierry Henry and Tony Adams, share.
In regards to his skills and talents on the pitch, he’s been repeatedly called one of the best playmakers in modern football and is a player that many playmakers are compared to nowadays. Thierry Henry has gone on to state on multiple occasions that Bergkamp is in fact the greatest player he ever played with, barring Lionel Messi who is not a human and is an alien, bearing in mind that he has played with the likes of Zidane and Ronaldinho.
In addition to him winning multiple Player of the Season or being included in the multiple Team of the Tournament, Bergkamp was also inducted into English Football Hall of Fame in 2007 and in 2015 it was announced that his statue alongside 10 other greatest Dutch players of all time would be erected outside KNVB’s headquarters in Zeist.
Just like how he was on the pitch, calm and collected, Dennis Bergkamp’s celebrations were quite minimalistic and downplayed as well, with him usually turning to the crowd and raising his fist in triumph. But there was one occasion where even he couldn’t be calm about and that was his famous goal against Argentina in the quarter-finals of the 1998 World Cup, which is one of the most beautiful and skillful in the history of the game and it came in the dying minutes of the game.
Bergkamp was almost in tears after that goal, holding his hands over his face and running to the corner of the pitch. Not bad for a guy who usually didn’t celebrate his goals overtly, to have one of the most memorable goal celebrations ever.
What made the celebration even more memorable was Jack van Gelder’s commentary with him just shouting Bergkamp’s name at the top of his lungs knowing full well that his country was through the semi-finals of the World Cup with that goal!
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Outside of football, Dennis Bergkamp’s Aviophobia, which is a condition that makes a person unable to fly with any kind of aircraft, has been subject of many discussions and news article. In fact, this is why he is called the Non-Flying Dutchman, in contrast to Dutch national team being called the Flying Dutchmen.
His aviophobia came after a couple of incidents in his time at Inter and he decided to never fly again after the 1994 World Cup.
He stated in an interview with Independent in 1996 that: “I can't do anything about it, it is a psychological thing and I can't explain it. I have not flown on a plane for two years. I am considering psychiatric help. I can't fly. I just freeze. I get panicky. It starts the day before, when I can't sleep.”
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It wouldn’t be a complete Dennis Bergkamp biography without mentioning his personal life. So read on as we take a look at Dennis Bergkamp life story, relationships and philanthropy in this
Dennis Bergkamp bio.
Our Non-Flying Dutchman preferred his personal life to be quiet as well. In fact, he is quite the family man, having married his sweetheart, Henrita Ruizendaal, in the 16 June of 1993. Dennis and Henrita have been together ever since and have 4 children: Estelle Deborah (25), Mitchel Dennis (22), Yasmin Naomi (18) and Saffron Rita (15).
Dennis’ son Mitchel is actually a footballer as well and although not as great as his father he is on his way to become a professional, having joined Watford’s U23 team just last week. His daughter Estelle is also dating current Manchester United and former Ajax player, Donny van de Beek, which has drawn a lot of attention to the couple.
Over the years Bergkamp has took part in various charity events and matches that are aimed to raise money for certain organizations with the most recent being the charity match that was organized by Friendship Sports Centre (FSC) and the Edwin van Der Sar Foundation.
Both are both foundations that provide support and rehabilitation to improve the lives of children and adults faced with illnesses or disabilities
Apart from a small dispute over payment for the job he held at Ajax, which is still unresolved, there doesn’t seem to be any big legal issues that Dennis Bergkamp has ever faced.
In this part of
Dennis Bergkamp biography
, we will take a look at his career statistics in the Dutch national team and the clubs that he played:
Starting his career at Ajax, Dennis Bergkamp went on to feature for them in 237 games in which he scored 122 goals and provided more than 20 assists helping them win 5 major trophies.
After Ajax he moved on to the Serie A and Internazionale, where he found life difficult but still managed to score 22 goals and provided a handful of assists, winning a single major trophy before ending his two season spell with the Nerazzurri.
After Inter he moved to Arsenal and went on to stay with the Gunners for 11 seasons, appearing in 423 matches, scoring 123 times and providing 94 assists in the Premier League alone and winning 6 major trophies with the London side.
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Making his debut for the Oranje in 1990, Dennis Bergkmap went on to represent them in 79 matches in which he scored 37 goals.
Bergkamp is Netherlands’ joint 4th top goal scorer with a goal ration of 0.47 per game. He has also assisted at least 10 times in Oranje’s colors.
Although Bergkamp has ventured into managerial duties after his retirement, his jobs have been mainly coaching at youth level and being part of technical staff, a job he holds today at Almere City FC.
Dennis Bergkamp is one of the most decorated Dutch players of all time, so here in the ending section of Dennis Bergkamp biography, we take a look at his achievements, either personal or his team achievements.
Being a product of Ajax academy, Dennis Bergkamp went on to win 5 major trophies with them which included: 1Eredivisie
league title, 2 KNVB Cups, 1 European Cup Winners’ Cup and a UEFA Cup. Also on a personal level, he managed to win Dutch Football Talent of the Year in 1990 as well as winning the Dutch Footballer of the Year twice in 1991 and 1992. He was also nominated for a Ballon d’Or in 1992, coming in the 3rd and failing to win it.
His time at Inter was significantly less fruitful and shorter compared to his 7 years and Ajax but he managed to win a single trophy which was the 1993-94 UEFA Cup. Bergkamp became the competition’s best goal scorer and was also nominated for the Ballon d’Or and FIFA World Player of the Year, becoming 2nd and 3rd in each respectively.
His most successful spell at the club level came with Arsenal where he managed to win 6 major trophies including: 3 Premier League titles and 3 FA Cup titles. His individual achievements were many during this time but most notably he managed to win the Premier League Player of the Month 4 times, Goal of the Season twice and Player of the Season once. He was also inducted into English Football Hall of Fame in 2007.
And lastly with the Dutch national team Bergkamp managed to only reach two major tournament semi-finals in Euro 92, where he became the joint top scorer, and in World Cup 98. He was however featured in the Team of the Tournament both times and was subsequently named in FIFA 100 in 2004, which is a list of the greatest living footballers compiled by Pele.