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Top facts about Giovanni van Bronckhorst, the Dutch skipper

Wed 16 June 2021 | 19:29

Having played for top teams like Arsenal and Barcelona during his playing career, Giovanni van Bronckhorst made sure that he implemented what he saw as a player. Read on to find out more facts about Giovanni van Bronckhorst.

Giovanni Christiaan van Bronckhorst (Rotterdam, 5 February 1975) is a Dutch football coach and former football player. He played mainly as a left back or in a defensive role at center or left in midfield.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s age

is 46 years. Here, we take a look at some of the most important facts about him.

Van Bronckhorst played 106 international matches for the Dutch national team and participated in three World Cups, in 1998, 2006 and 2010, as well as three European Championships, in 2000, 2004 and 2008. With the Dutch national team, he finished second as captain at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa. This achievement made him a Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau.

After his playing career, Van Bronckhorst started his coaching career. First as an assistant to Ronald Koeman and Fred Rutten at Feyenoord, but since 2015 as head coach. He was active at Feyenoord and Guangzhou R&F.

As head coach of Feyenoord, van Bronckhorst managed to win the Eredivisie, two KNVB Cups and two Johan Cruijff Scales. It was the first Eredivisie title in 18 years for the club from Rotterdam.

Top facts about Giovanni van Bronckhorst:

The first

fact about Giovanni van Bronckhorst

is that throughout his club career, Van Bronckhorst played successively for RKC Waalwijk, Feyenoord, Glasgow Rangers, Arsenal and Barcelona before returning to Feyenoord again. He was instrumental in Barcelona's 2006 Champions League win by playing all the matches in the tournament. He also won the Primera Division, Premier League and KNVB Cup, among others.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst early life

Speaking about

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s parents

, it should be mentioned that Victor van Bronckhorst, an Indonesian-Dutch, and Fransien Sapulette, an Indonesian woman of Moluccan heritage, gave birth to Van Bronckhorst in Rotterdam.


Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s childhood

, he started football with Linker Maas Oever, a regional amateur youth squad in Rotterdam, when he was six years old. The next year, he attended Feyenoord's junior program.

At the age of 15, he was given a formal deal by the team, which he agreed. With


, he won the Netherlands Youth League in 1991, but he failed to get into the main squad. In 1993, he was sent out to RKC Waalwijk, where he made his league debut.

For the 1994–95 campaign, he came to Feyenoord as a periphery player, making just 10 games for the team. His breakout campaign was 1995–96, when he played practically every game for Feyenoord, partnering Regi Blinker and Henrik Larsson.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst personal life

Van Bronckhorst lives in Krimpen aan den Ijssel with his family in South Holland. He is married to Marieke Wolsers, who was his fiancée before their marriage. The couple have two children, Jake and Joshua van Bronckhorst.

An important fact about

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s personal life

is that in 2012, he set up the SV GIO after-school program together with his wife Marieke van Bronckhorst.

Children from groups 7 and 8 of primary school come to the location one afternoon a week, for 20 weeks, to receive support in the field of education and sports. This takes place at three locations; De Kuip, at the LMO Football Association and on the campus of the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

In 1997 Van Bronckhorst mentioned Simon Tahamata in the sports program Veronica's Voetbal, who played for Feyenoord from 1984 to 1987 and was also of Moluccan descent, as his great example.

Giovanni is known to the public as the player who never played less than 90 minutes (not only because he never left, but also because he never gave up "fighting". In 2011, Van Bronckhorst played the role of himself in the sitcom Everyone Loves Jack.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst professional career

Giovanni van Bronckhorst began playing football with a young local team in Rotterdam, Linker Maas Oever at the age of 6 years. He later joined the youth academy at Feyenoord and in 1991, he accepted to begin his youth career with Feyenoord in the Dutch Youth League.

van Bronckhorst made his debut for the senior Dutch team during the 1996 Olympics and he received his first full cap in August 1996 an a friendly match against


where he came in as a substitute for Guus Hiddink at the Amsterdam Arena. His first international goal came during a match against

South Africa

at the FNB Stadium.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst club career

Nationally, Van Bronckhorst started looking for a new team after Feyenoord failed to break the PSV–Ajax grip on the Dutch league for the fourth year in a row, and main players such as Henrik Larsson left the squad.  He chose to join Rangers in 1998 for a reputed transfer cost of £5–5.5 million, replacing Dick Advocaat (his previous national U-16 and U-18 coach).

Glasgow Rangers

A notable fact about Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s professional career is that in the summer of 1998, he left for Glasgow Rangers in Scotland, which was trained by Dick Advocaat. Also, compatriot Arthur Numan, and later Ronald de Boer, Michael Mols and Fernando Ricksen, were part of this team.

In his first two seasons with the Rangers, Van Bronckhorst each time became national champion, cup winner and winner of the League Cup. During its third and final season for the Rangers, the team failed to win an award.


His successes with the Rangers allowed him to move to


, which then featured Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry. He signed a 5-year contract with Arsène Wenger's squad.

Van Bronckhorst had to absorb the departure of Emmanuel Petit in midfield, but never really managed to break through at the London club. He was seriously injured at the start of his employment. Nevertheless, he became national champion and FA Cup winner with Arsenal.


For the 2003–04 season, he left for Frank Rijkaard's Barcelona on loan where he encountered a number of Dutch players such as Phillip Cocu, Patrick Kluivert and Marc Overmars.

An important

fact about Giovanni van Bronckhorst

 professional career is that at Barcelona he had to get used to his new role as a left-back, but in May 2004 his transfer to Barcelona was finalized and he signed a 3-year contract.

The other Dutchmen left, leaving Van Bronckhorst the only Dutch player in the 2004–05 season. That season he became Spanish champion for the first time. A year later, Mark van Bommel joined the selection.

Van Bronckhorst grew into one of the regular defenders in Rijkaard's championship team. In total, he won the Spanish league title twice with Barcelona, ​​the Supercopa twice and the Champions League once, in which he was the only player to play all matches that Champions League season.

He was highly regarded in


, because he always managed to combine his attacking intentions very well with very solid defensive work. He would later be described as the best left back ever by

Lionel Messi

, among others. When he played for FC Barcelona, his nickname was "Gio", partly because it was the name on his shirt.

Back to Feyenoord

In the summer of 2007, he had one year left on his contract with Barcelona, ​​but Van Bronckhorst decided to return to his childhood sweetheart Feyenoord.

His return was hailed by the club's supporters. Van Bronckhorst even interrupted his vacation to attend the first training session. He also indicated that he did not want to receive profit premiums.

Van Bronckhorst was chosen as captain by trainer Bert van Marwijk, the role he took over from Theo Lucius, and grew into one of the supporting players of the team, which also consisted of other experienced players such as Roy Makaay, Kevin Hofland and Denny Landzaat, but also, from talents such as Georgino Wijnaldum and Leroy Fer. At the Stadionclub he still managed to win the KNVB Cup in 2008 by beating Roda JC 2-0 in the final, but there were no prizes.

Another fact about Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s club career is that on May 12, 2010, he announced that he would retire from professional football after the 2010 World Cup. He played his last game in De Kuip against Spain's Real Mallorca. This was his farewell match. Mario Been, the then Feyenoord trainer, tried in vain to persuade him to continue.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst international career

Van Bronckhorst made his debut for the Dutch Juniors in 1996, but the team failed to qualify for the 2006 Olympic Games in Atlanta. In August of the same year, under national coach Guus Hiddink, he made his debut for the Dutch national team in the friendly match against Brazil in the Arena.

He scored his first international goal a year later against South Africa. Van Bronckhorst was part of the squad for the 1998 World Cup but did not play a game at the tournament. And during the European Championship 2000, he served as a reserve behind Rangers teammate Arthur Numan.

After the

Dutch national team

failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, the team only returned to a final tournament in 2004, during the 2004 European Championship in Portugal. Here, he often played as a left back, despite being active as a midfielder at his club. The Dutch national team reached the semi-finals of the final tournament under the guidance of its former Ranger trainer Dick Advocaat.

In 2006 Van Bronckhorst was part of the squad for the 2006 World Cup in neighboring Germany. During this tournament he was a regular in the starting team of national coach Marco van Basten. In the knockout stage of the tournament, during the Last 16 match against Portugal, Van Bronckhorst received a red card in a match that saw a total of four red cards, a World Cup record.

Another important

fact about Giovanni van Bronckhorst

 international career is that after he was sent off, he sat brotherly next to Barcelona teammate Deco on the steps of the grandstand, who had also been sent off and a remarkable scene was made.

During the 2008 European Championship, the Dutch team surprised friend and foe by beating World Champion Italy and World Cup finalist France quite easily with 3-0 and 4-1 respectively. In the end, the Dutch national team stranded in the quarterfinals against the


of former national coach Guus Hiddink.

Before the 2008 European Championship, Edwin van der Sar had announced that he would stop as an international after that tournament. Van Bronckhorst succeeded Van der Sar after the tournament as captain of the Dutch national team.

Van Bronckhorst had already announced before the 2010 World Cup that he would stop as a football player after the tournament. The Dutch team led by its former Feyenoord coach Bert van Marwijk played a solid tournament and managed to win all group matches against


, Japan and Cameroon.

Next was victory over Slovakia, title favorites Brazil and


. The team reached the final of the final tournament against Spain. They lost 0-1 after extra time. It was Van Bronckhorst's last international match. He was replaced in the 105th minute by Edson Braafheid.

In the semi-final of the final tournament, against Uruguay, Van Bronckhorst scored the 0-1 for the Netherlands from a great distance. This goal was later unofficially voted the 'most beautiful goal' of that World Cup. After the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Van Bronckhorst and Bert van Marwijk were appointed knights of the Order of Orange-Nassau.

A fact about Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s international career is that in total, he played 106 international matches and thus completed the podium at the time with Edwin van der Sar (130 international matches) and Frank de Boer (112 international matches).

In November 2011, he was awarded a UEFA award for playing at least 100 caps. Since then, Wesley Sneijder (134 international matches) and Rafael van der Vaart (109 international matches) have passed him.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst coaching career

After retiring as a player in the summer of 2010, Van Bronckhorst started training as a Professional Football Coach. As part of this training, he assisted national coach Cor Pot at the Dutch Juniors. In August 2011, together with former teammate Jean-Paul van Gastel, he was appointed assistant coach to Ronald Koeman at his former club Feyenoord.

Under Koeman's leadership, Feyenoord returned to the top echelons of the Eredivisie and Jordy Clasie, Bruno Martins Indi, Daryl Janmaat and Stefan de Vrij grewout to international. Later, Van Bronckhorst went on to combine the position of assistant coach with coaching Jong Feyenoord/Excelsior.

After the departure of Koeman in the summer of 2014, Fred Rutten was appointed head coach of Feyenoord. Both Van Bronckhorst and Van Gastel stayed on as assistants, but Feyenoord had a mixed season under Rutten's rule. On March 23, 2015, it was announced that Van Bronckhorst would succeed Rutten as head coach of Feyenoord with effect from the 2015–16 season.


After Fred Rutten was fired on Sunday 17 May 2015, Van Bronckhorst became head coach of Feyenoord that day with Van Gastel as his assistant.

An important fact about Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s coaching career is that in his first game as head coach, on Thursday 21 May, he lost 1-0 to

SC Heerenveen

in the play-offs. In the return, Feyenoord did not get further than a 2-2 draw in its own Kuip, so that the club would be deprived of participation in European football in the 2015-16 season.

Van Bronckhorst's first full season was mixed. Beautiful victories were interspersed with unnecessary defeats. In December 2015, a series of 7 defeats in a row started, which would continue until February 2016. Feyenoord lost all the opportunities against Ajax and PSV and had virtually no chance for the national title.

Feyenoord made it so difficult for themselves that even third place was in danger and it was overtaken by AZ. In February, Van Bronckhorst received help from his former trainer Dick Advocaat, who advised and supported Van Bronckhorst behind the scenes as a friend.

Feyenoord had not lost a game since then and finished the season in third place. In the meantime, things were going well in the cup tournament: Feyenoord reached the final, in which they defeated FC Utrecht 2-1.

On July 31, 2016, they lost again for the first time since February. The Johan Cruyff Scale was lost 0-1 against PSV. An impressive winning streak was then started and 9 times in a row were won. In between,

Manchester United

were defeated in De Kuip and Feyenoord won 0-1 at PSV.

The first loss of points was suffered in the home match against Ajax, it became 1-1 at the last minute by a goal from Dirk Kuyt. A week later, there was a 2-2 draw against Heerenveen. During the week there was a 1-1 draw with 10 men at Zorya Lugansk.

The good series was then continued and there was no more loss in the Eredivisie until the winter break. However, there were two more losses in the Europa League. Manchester United (4-0) and Fenerbahce (0-1) were too strong, so Feyenoord finished 3rd in the group and was therefore eliminated in Europe. Feyenoord became winter champion in the Eredivisie.

An important fact about Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s coaching career is that in December it was announced that Van Bronckhorst would maintain in the club until the summer of 2019. On May 14, 2017 Feyenoord won 3-1 at Heracles Almelo and Eredivisie was secured became, while rival


finished in second place with 1 point less.

In his third season as trainer of Feyenoord, the Johan Cruyff Scale was won on August 5 by beating Vitesse on penalties. In the Eredivisie the results were not that good, with a final fourth place behind AZ, Ajax and eventual champion PSV. In the Champions League the only win was against Napoli (2-1), which was not enough for a European winter.

On April 22, 2018, the final of the TOTO KNVB Cup was won by beating AZ 0-3 in the final by goals from Nicolai Jorgensen, Robin van Persie and Jens Toornstra. With this, van Bronckhorst took his fourth national prize as trainer of Feyenoord.

In the summer of 2018, his assistant Jan Wouters made way for Denny Landzaat after three seasons, who completed the coaching staff with Van Gastel. Gio's fourth season as trainer of Feyenoord started with a prize, the Johan Cruyff Scale was won after a penalty shootout.

Things got worse soon after: in the third qualifying round of the Europa League, Feyenoord was knocked out by Slovakian club AS Trenčín. The first game was lost 4-0, after which the home game ended in a 1-1 draw. Feyenoord also lost its first league game against de Graafschap.

At the end of January 2019, he announced that he would stop as trainer of Feyenoord at the end of the 2018/2019 season. Jaap Stam, at the time working at PEC Zwolle, was announced as his successor on March 6, 2019. Van Bronckhorst entered the books as the most successful trainer of Feyenoord, with five prizes in four years.

With this he kept behind Willem van Hanegem and Ernst Happel, who both won three prizes during their employment. On August 23, 2019, Van Bronckhorst, together with Robin van Persie, opened the new Sports Complex Varkenoord, whose grandstand was named after him.

City Football Group

On September 9, 2019, it was announced that Van Bronckhorst would start working for the City Football Group. It was with that organization that he had the opportunity to develop further as a football coach, with the intention of being on the pitch at several of the organisation's clubs, such as

Manchester City

, Melbourne City and New York City.

Guangzhou R&F

On January 3, 2020, it was announced that Van Bronckhorst would start as coach of Guangzhou R&F. After a difficult start to the competition, partly due to the postponement of the start due to the corona pandemic, the team led by Van Bronckhorst started to run reasonably. In the inaugural season, the team finished sixth out of eight teams in Group A of the Chinese Super League. As a result, it ended up in the bottom half of the playoffs.

In the end, the team finished eleventh out of sixteen teams in the overall competition. On December 2, 2020, Van Bronckhorst's team was eliminated from the Chinese Cup competition by Shandong Lunengafter penalties.

The day after, Van Bronckhorst announced that he would resign and return to the Netherlands to spend more time with his family. Permanent assistant Jean-Paul van Gastel, video analyst Yöri Bosspoelt and fitness trainer Arno Philips had also left. Later, Van Gastel was appointed as Van Bronckhorst's successor at Guangzhou R&F.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst style of coaching

Pep Guardiola's influence on Giovanni van Bronckhorst's budding management career has been discussed by him. During Van Bronckhorst's last season at the Nou Camp, Guardiola was guiding Barcelona's B team, and the Dutchman is now aiming to make his own mark in leadership.

Van Bronckhorst's preference for the 4-3-3 offensive formation that has become associated with Dutch soccer is unsurprising. After playing for the likes of Advocaat, Guus Hiddink, Arsene Wenger, and Frank Rijkaard, it's only natural that he'd incorporate some of their managerial strategies into his own.

He once told reporters, "They all had their own methods and distinctive techniques." "As a coach, I've worked hard to develop my own personality and principles while never ignoring the advantages I've gained from all of them."

Van Bronckhorst was a big hit with the Feyenoord players throughout his six years on the team. He was instrumental in the development of young players such as Seattle right back Kelvin Leerdam, Stefan de Vrij, Daryl Janmaat, Bruno Martins Indi, Renato Tapia, and Tonny Vilhena, as well as connecting to veterans on a personal basis.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst social media


Giovanni van Bronckhorst social media

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


) with 33.4k followers. In the page we can see various pictures of him during the matches as a coach, and also some aspects of his personal life with his family.

He also has a Twitter account (


) with 153.3k followers. He rarely posts new stuff on his Twitter page.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst body measurements

Speaking about

Giovanni van Bronckhorst body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the Dutch former star is 5 ft 10 in (178 cm) and weighs 160 lbs (73 kg).

Giovanni van Bronckhorst net worth and salary

As of the very last football season in 2021, Giovanni’s net worth is expected to be about 20 million euros. He has earned this much by playing soccer professionally for more that 15 years and also coaching various teams since his retirement.

The final fact is about

Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s net worth

. Aside from his football earnings, he has amassed a fortune from private partnerships for major brands. It also should be mentioned that he has a Maserati.

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source: SportMob