Top facts about Marco van Basten, the Swan of Utrecht

Sat 29 May 2021 | 19:29

Marco van Basten is certainly among the players who not only achieved great success, but also changed the game with his style, intelligence and flair. Read on to find out more facts about Marco van Basten.

Marcel van Basten, known as Marco van Basten, born on October 31, 1964 in Utrecht, is a Dutch former international footballer who became a coach and then a manager.

Having won the Golden Ball trophy three times in 1988, 1989 and 1992, he is considered one of the greatest Dutch players of all time and one of the best strikers of his generation.

Marco van Basten’s age

is 56.

With his compatriots Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard, he formed a trio of players which shined particularly on the European scene, both in national team and in club, at

AC Milan


Often presented as the successor of Johan Cruyff, in 1988 he led the Dutch national team to its first international title: the European Football Championship, for which he was voted best player. Here we take a look at some facts about the Dutch former superstar.

Damaged by repeated injuries, he officially ended his professional career at the end of the 1994-1995 season, at the age of 30, although he had not played a single match since the final of the Champions League, the May 26, 1993.

Top facts about Marco van Basten:

Having become a coach, van Basten was the coach of the Netherlands from 2004 to 2008. In 2008, he took the reins of

Ajax Amsterdam

, the club of his professional beginnings.

In 2012, van Basten signed to Sportclub


and in 2014 to

AZ Alkmaar

, but gave up his contract the following year, with coach Danny Blind offering him an assistant position. In 2016, he joined FIFA for a management position.

Marco van Basten early life

Marco van Basten’s grandfather was a Dutch weight-lifting champion, and his father, Joop van Basten, was a soccer player for DOS Utrecht and UVV Utrecht, as well as a coach for several amateur clubs. He has two older siblings, Stanley (six years older) and Carla (eight years older).


Marco van Basten’s parents

, it should be mentioned that he saw separation of them as a child, in addition to a long illness suffered by his mother, Lenie, who died in 2007. His father died in 2014.

Van Basten's illustrious career in professional football came to an end prematurely at the age of 28. And it all started with a horrific disaster. Speaking about

Marco van Basten’s childhood

, he was just seven years old when he and his childhood pal Jopie set off on a winter day in search of fun, and the two boys wind up at a frozen lake.

Jopie was the first to step into the glacier, catching a rope with the other end in Van Bsten's hands on the ground. The ice abruptly collapsed while Jopie was in the center of the pool! Jopie dropped his grip on the line and fell into the river. “He wore a woolen hat that day,” Van Basten notes. "A blue cap with one white and two red bars on it, similar to a speed skating helmet. The cap remained afloat in the sea. I have a fairly good remembrance.”

Marco received urgent assistance. But it was too late; Jopie was found dead in the sea. It was an unbelievable shock for a little boy who doesn't grasp much.

Marco van Basten personal life

Marco van Basten’s father-in-law is Liesbeth van Capelleveen. Masrco married on June 21, 1993 in a castle on the outskirts of Utrecht. Their first child, named Rebecca, was born on 25 May 1990. His second daughter is called Deborah and third Alexander, who was born on May 16, 1997.

After retiring as a soccer player, they moved to Monaco, where he regularly played golf. In the following years he played in several important tournaments such as the KLM Open or the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship.

They moved to live in Badhoevedorp, Liesbeth, and eventually traveled to his home in Monaco. In November 2008, and as Ajax coach, he bought a mansion in Oranje Nassaulaan, Amsterdam.

The fact about

Marco Van Basten personal life

is that he became an analyst after retiring from coaching, and he was characterized as a "very cerebral analyst who ponders the problems of FIFA and proposes improvements to the offside law" in 2016.

During a live broadcast on November 23, 2019, while serving as a correspondent for the Fox Sports network in the Netherlands, Van Basten said "Sieg Heil" (meaning "Hail victory" in German), a symbolic honorific synonymous with the Nazi salute.

Van Basten said that his microphone was turned off when he made the joke, and that it was in reaction to Hans Kraay's interview with Heracles' German boss, Frank Wormuth, after the team's 4–1 defeat to Ajax.

 Van Basten said, "I apologize for shocking people; that was not my purpose. I was just going to make a remark regarding Hans' German.

That was an insensitive prank. "His usage of the word sparked specific outrage because it came on a weekend where Dutch football clubs held a minute of silence before matches in defiance of prejudice.

Following the incident, the network labeled Van Basten's remark "stupid and insensitive," and terminated him until the 7th of December.

Van Basten's cards in FIFA Ultimate Team would no longer be eligible in FIFA 20 and FIFA 21, according to Electronic Arts, who stated that the organization "expects that our dedication to consistency and diversity is maintained."

Marco van Basten professional career

Van Basten was a striker who had all the characteristics that an attacker is supposed to have from passing and dribbling to finishing. With the flexibility and acrobatic ability of a gymnast, he could confuse any defense in Europe and he did so year after year for Ajax, AC Milan, and the Dutch national team.

Marco van Basten club career

Marco van Basten started playing football at the age of six at the local club EDO. A year later, he joined UVV Utrecht where he remained for nine years, then in 1980–1981 wore the colors of another club in the city, USV Elinkwijk. He was spotted there by Ajax Amsterdam, one of the biggest clubs in the country, which signed him in 1981, at the age of 16.

Ajax Amsterdam

Van Basten joined AFC Ajax for the 1981-1982 season. For his first season, he remained in the shadow of Wim Kieft, two years older, who with 32 league goals won the European Golden Shoe that season. Van Basten played his first league game on April 3, 1982, at 17, in a victory over

NEC Nijmegen

in which he scored his first goal (5-0).

The important

fact about Marco van Basten

career is that he replaced Johan Cruyff that day who was playing his last seasons. He played more the following season, scoring nine goals in twenty league games. After the 1982 league title, Ajax won the Dutch Cup-Championship double.

After the departure of Kieft for the Italian club of


in the summer of 1983, van Basten became the starter. He did not disappoint being four years in a row as the league's top scorer, scoring 117 goals in 112 league games in four seasons. This efficiency allowed him to make his debut for the national team.

Despite its scorer, the Ajax club had to face competition from

Feyenoord Rotterdam


PSV Eindhoven

, and between 1983 and 1987 only won three national titles: the championship in 1985 and the Dutch cup in 1986 and 1987.

During this period in the 1985-1986 financial year, under the direction of Cruyff, who became a coach, van Basten scored 37 league goals, which in turn enabled him to win the European Golden Boot.

A fact about Marco Van Basten is that he also shined European competitions, where he scored eleven times in 17 games. On May 13, 1987, he scored Ajax's winning goal in the European Cup Winners' Cup final in the 20th minute against

Lokomotiv Leipzig

. a few weeks later, he transferred to Italy at 22, to AC Milan.

AC Milan

By signing to AC Milan, Van Basten joined an ambitious club, recently taken over by entrepreneur Silvio Berlusconi. The transfer allowance was estimated at 9 million dollars. In addition to the Dutch striker, Milan attracted his compatriot Ruud Gullit and coach Arrigo Sacchi. On the September 13, 1987, the striker played his first match in his new colors in Pisa (3-1 victory) and scored his first

Serie A


For his first season in Milan, Van Basten won the Scudetto (the first in eight years for the Milan club), although he was only able to make eleven league games (for just three goals) due to repeated injuries at the ankle.

A notable

fact about Marco can Basten

is that he regularly found the net from his second season. Winner of the Euro during the summer of 1988, he won his first Golden Ball in December, which he gave to his father, where he beat his compatriots and teammates in Milan Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard. He was praised for his complete game, his technique and his sense of goal.

In 1988-1989, van Basten scored 19 goals in 33 Serie A matches. While he did not allow his team to retain their league title, his ten goals, often decisive, in the 1988-1989 European Champion Clubs' Cup, including a double in the final against Steaua Bucharest (4-0), gave them the cup.

On December 17, AC Milan won the 1989 Intercontinental Cup against Colombians Atlético Nacional (1-0), and Van Basten got the Golden Ball for the second time. This time he was ahead of Franco Baresi, another of his teammates, and Rijkaard.

In 1989-1990, Van Basten was, with 19 goals, Capocannoniere (top scorer in the Italian championship) and AC Milan retained its title of European champion against Lisbon (1-0).

In December of the same year, still associated with Gullit and Rijkaard, he contributed to the Milan club's second straight victory in the Intercontinental Cup, against Olimpia Asuncion (3-0). For the second year in a row, he also won the European Supercup.

The 1990-1991 season was a failure for the club, which did not win any new trophies. Great favorite to win the 1991 edition of the European Champion Clubs' Cup, Milan was notably eliminated in the quarterfinals by Olympique de Marseille. Sacchi, scrambled with the striker, was replaced by Fabio Capello.

The following season was a triumph: Milan won the Italian league undefeated, and Van Basten the top scorer trophy with 25 goals, a total that had not been achieved since he was 25. Despite the failure of Euro 1992, Van Basten maintained an exceptional level of performance, as AC Milan pushed their unbeaten streak to 58 games in the 1992-1993 season.

In November 1992, van Basten scored four goals in a Champions League match against IFK Göteborg, including a sensational one.

A month later, he was named “FIFA Best Footballer of the Year” and won the Golden Ball for the third time, a feat that had only been achieved by Johan Cruyff and Michel Platini until then. He would offer his last trophy to Milanese President Silvio Berlusconi.

Immediately after receiving his award, he underwent surgery on his right ankle in Switzerland, by Professor René Marti. This was the second intervention on this joint after the one undergone in November 1986, in Amsterdam. On the April 25, 1993, out of action for more than four months, he entered in the 52th minute of the match


- AC Milan (0-0).

Two weeks later, Van Basten scored his first goal of the year at Ancona. It would be the last of his career. On the May 26, 1993, during the final of the Champions League at Olympique de Marseille, he came to the match in the 85th minute. This match remained his last professional appearance.

A fact about Marco van Basten is that after two years of operations and convalescence, he decided to officially end his career. On the Aug 17, 1995, during a press conference at AC Milan headquarters, Van Basten announced his retirement.

Marco van Basten international career

An important fact about Marco van Basten is that on the September 7, 1983, van Basten had his first national game against


. Fifteen days later, he scored his first goal in Brussels against


(1-1). Despite his emergence and those of a few other promising players (Frank Rijkaard, Ruud Gullit, Ronald Koeman), the selection narrowly missed qualification for Euro 1984 and then the 1986 World Cup.

After a difficult 1987-1988 season, punctuated by physical glitches, Van Basten was the great architect of the


’ first, and only, international title at Euro 1988, in which he scored a hat-trick against



In the semifinals, the Netherlands eliminated the Federal Republic of Germany then became European champion of the nations, beating the USSR in the final, thanks to a goal from Ruud Gullit and a sensational volley from Van Basten.

However, the end of the 1990 season was less glorious with the elimination of the Netherlands in the round of 16 of the 1990 World Cup against the Federal Republic of Germany. The Euro 1992 sees the Dutch losing in the semifinals to


on penalties, Van Basten missing the decisive penalty.

On the December 14, 1992, Van Basten appeared for the last time in the orange jersey, against Poland in Rotterdam (2-2), during the 1994 World Cup qualifiers.

From 1983 to 1992, Van Basten had endorsed 58 times the shirt of the team Batavian. Eight times captain, he scored 24 goals, including a quintupled the December 19, 1990, against



Marco van Basten coaching career

After finishing his career as a footballer at Milan, he said he would never be a coach, but changed his mind and took a course at the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB).

He won the title in May 2003 and his first coaching job was as an assistant to his former teammate John van 't Schip in Ajax Amsterdam's second team in the 2003-04 season. In the second half of the season, jobs were swapped, with van Basten becoming head coach.

World Cup 2006

On July 29, 2004, he was appointed as the new coach of the Netherlands national team with John van 't Schip as assistant. In the same qualifying group were Andorra, Armenia, Macedonia, Finland, Romania and the

Czech Republic


The momentous match was played in Prague against the latter: the team that won had a direct pass to the World Cup and the other should play it in the play-offs. Ultimately, the Dutch achieved a 0-2 victory and qualified for the finals.

The first matches of the final phase were not very good, although the necessary points were obtained. They beat Serbia 0-1 with a goal from Robben in the 18th minute, against Ivory Coast through van Persie and van Nistelrooy (2-1) and drew in the third match against Argentina. As the two teams were already qualified, they gave rest to some starters and the game was quite boring and without goals.

Argentina qualified first on goal difference. In the round of 16 they faced Portugal and lost by a goal in the 23rd minute. The referee sent off Costinha and Deco for the Portuguese and Boulahrouz and van Bronckhorst for the Dutch, in a very tough match that came to be called the Battle of Nuremberg.


fact about Marco van Basten

is that during the World Cup he criticized van Nistelrooy's lack of aim and in the game against


he relegated him to the bench after the player insulted van 't Schip and kicked the ball in training. This was one of the main criticisms of his detractors and from that match Van Nistelrooy did not until they reconciled in May 2007.

Euro 2008

After the World Cup, he was ratified as a coach since the project was for the future and the contract was signed until 2008. They even proposed extending it until 2010, something that he described as a "nice gesture" before refusing for the moment.

In the qualifying group for Euro 2008 they qualified second behind Romania and ahead of Bulgaria. On February 22, 2008, it was announced that he would be the new coach of Ajax Amsterdam for the next four seasons, just after finishing the Euro. His replacement in the national team was Bert van Marwijk.

In the final phase, they faced the finalists of the 2006 Soccer World Cup: Italy and France. Despite this, both were widely outperformed by the Netherlands. They beat the Italians 3-0, the French 4-1 and the Romanians 2-0. The quarter-final match saw them against Russia at St. Jakob Park in Basel. Before the game, Boulahrouz's newborn son died and Robben was injured.

The Russian team took the lead with a goal from Pavliuchenko in the 56th minute, but a goal from van Nistelrooy in the 86th minute brought them into extra time. In the 112th minute, Torbinski scored the second and a little later Arshavin scored the final 3-1, thus ending the Dutch career in the tournament and van Basten's time at the helm of the team.

Ajax Amsterdam

In early 2008 he signed as coach of Ajax Amsterdam for the next four seasons. Shortly after, a report by Uri Coronel was published, in which the club's board was criticized for its limited success. This led to the resignation of the technical director, the general director and the chairman of the board of directors, so the situation was greatly changed when he took office on July 1, 2008.

After completing a discreet season, the May 2009 he left the bench, because he did not achieve the objectives set at the beginning of the season: win the title or qualify for the Champions League preliminaries. Ajax finished 3rd in Eredivisie.

He made his debut for the club on July 19, 2008 in a match against VV Noordwijk and his first Eredivisie match was on August 30, 2008 against Willem II Tilburg. He coached the team for 45 matches, 26 of which won, lost 8 and tied 11.

An important fact about Marco van Basten is that in June he was about to sign as China coach, but finally decided to break up the negotiations. In September of the same year, he met with Cruyff and other players to organize the future of Ajax. Van Basten would be the general manager of the team, and could count on his group of collaborators.

However, Cruyff thought of other people to accompany him, published some articles in Telesport discrediting him and van Basten withdrew as a candidate. Shortly after, Ajax signed Louis van Gaal and Cruyff left his position as technical advisor.

SC Heerenveen

After three years without training, on February 13, 2012, his return to the bench was announced, this time at Sportclub Heerenveen, replacing Ron Jans. In the mid-season they were in 13th place. However, from matchday 25 the team was gaining positions until finishing in eighth place, giving them access to play the tie to the UEFA Europa League.

They faced Utrecht, but were defeated in both games. In the following season the results were better, reaching third place at the beginning of the season. However, on 29 January 2014 he announced it would not continue in the next season, leaving his post in the 5th place of the Eredivisie.

AZ Alkmaar

The important fact about Marco van Basten is that on April 18, 2014, AZ Alkmaar announced an agreement with him to be their coach for the next two seasons, starting with the 2014-15 campaign. However, the beginning of the season in the Eredivisie was affected by some absences of van Basten, delegating to his assistants due to health problems.

The club granted him a few weeks of recovery, until September 14. They had won the first game against Heracles, but lost the next two, causing him physical and mental problems derived from stress. He finally decided to resign as first coach and be an assistant coach until 2016.

National team assistant

On July 9, 2015, van Basten’s return to the Netherlands team was announced, this time in the role of assistant to Danny Blind. At the beginning of the year, van Nistelrooy had held the post, until he left for PSV in May.

Dick Advocaat had replaced him, but two months later he signed for Fenerbahçe. After two months in office, van Basten announced that he would be leaving his post at the end of the season to join FIFA.

Marco van Basten social media


van Basten social media

, it should be mentioned that he has an Instagram page (


) with 457K followers. In the page we can see various pictures of him during the glory days as a player.

He also has a Twitter account (


) with 49.5K followers. He rarely posts new stuff on his Twitter page. It’s been almost a year since he posted something new in his page.

Marco van Basten body measurements

Speaking about

Marco van Basten body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the Dutch former star is 6 ft 2 in (188 cm) and weighs 158 lb (80 kg).

Marco van Basten net worth and salary

Marco van Basten made the most of his income playing football and was a regular goalscorer whose career was cut short. Following his retirement, he remained involved in football as a coach. Marco van Basten’s net worth is estimated to be in the range of 15 million Euros.

Van Basten is a participant in EA Sports' FIFA video game franchise, and in FIFA 14, he was called to the Ultimate Team Legends. Van Basten was funded by the Italian sportswear group Diadora during his playing career.

One of the most sellable players in the country introduced his own customized football boots, the San Siro Van Basten, in the late 1980s, making him two million dollars in five years.




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