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Top facts about Ruud van Nistelrooy, Van Gol

Tue 23 November 2021 | 20:25

Ruud van Nistelrooy scored more Premier League goals (95) than any United player except all-time record goalscorer Wayne Rooney, and has a better goals-per-game ratio than any other player (0.63). Read on to find out more facts about Ruud van Nistelrooy, The Dutch goal machine.

Rutgerus Johannes Martinus van Nistelrooij (born July 1, 1976) is a former player and coach in the Dutch football team. He is now the coach of PSV Eindhoven's under-19s squad and the Netherlands' assistant manager.

Ruud van Nistelrooy’s age

is 45. Here you can find out the most important facts about Ruud van Nistelrooy, the legendary former player.

Van Nistelrooy, a former striker, is widely regarded as one of the finest strikers of his era. With 56 goals, he is the sixth-highest goalscorer in the history of the UEFA Champions League. He was regarded as one of the Europe's finest goal poachers and earned himself the nickname 'Van Gol'.

He has been the top scorer in three different UEFA Champions League seasons. He has also led three separate European domestic leagues in scoring.

The first fact about Ruud van Nistelrooy is that he started his career at Den Bosch, then moved on to Heerenveen before establishing himself at

PSV Eindhoven

, where he won two Eredivisie championships.

Manchester United were interested in his goalscoring record at PSV and agreed to a deal in the summer of 2000; but, due to injury issues, his transfer was completed a year later for a then British record cost of £19 million.

He won the Premier League, FA Cup, Football League Cup, and FA Community Shield during his tenure at United, as well as the Sir

Matt Busby

Player of the Year award twice. Van Nistelrooy scored 150 goals in 219 appearances for United, becoming the club's all-time European goalscorer at the time, although he fell out of favor at the conclusion of his career.

Top facts about Ruud van Nistelrooy:

In 2006, he signed a contract with Real Madrid. Despite an injury that cut short his time at Real Madrid, he won La Liga twice and the Supercopa de Espana before joining Hamburger SV in the January transfer window of 2010.

In the summer of 2011, he returned to Spain with

Málaga

after one and a half seasons with Hamburg. On May 14, 2012, he declared his retirement from football.

An important fact about Ruud van Nistelrooy is that he made 70 international appearances for the

Netherlands

, scoring 35 goals. He was a member of the Euro 2004 and 2006 World Cup rosters, as well as the Euro 2008 squad.

Ruud van Nistelrooy early life

Nistelrooy was born on July 1, 1976, in Oss, Netherlands, in the south-central Netherlands. Speaking about

Ruud van Nistelrooy’s childhood

, it should be mentioned that he excelled at tennis, football, and swimming at a young age.

But, in the end, he chose football as his sport of choice. However, it was when he joined Eerste divisie team FC Den Bosch that his career truly took off. There is no information available regarding

Ruud van Nistelrooy’s parents

.

After playing for local sides Nooit Gedacht and RKSV Margriet, Van Nistelrooy began his career in 1993, at the age of 17, with Dutch Eerste Divisie side Den Bosch, where he was transformed from a central midfielder to a center-forward.

Ruud van Nistelrooy personal life

In July 2004, Van Nistelrooy married Leontien Slaats, his lover. In September 2006, the couple had their first child, a daughter called Moa Annette, and in March 2008, a boy named Liam. Van Nistelrooy grew raised as a devout Roman Catholic.

Van Nistelrooy and his wife are both active members of the SOS Children's Villages charitable organization. The organization, which has been functioning since 1949, is an international development charity dedicated to the protection of children's interests and rights.

On September 1, 2001, Van Nistelrooy was named "FIFA for SOS Children's Villages" Ambassador in the Netherlands.

Van Nistelrooy and his wife hosted SOS at Ciudad Real Madrid on November 17, 2009. The goal of the event was to assist in the creation of a calendar that would be sold to raise funds for the organization.

Ruud van Nistelrooy professional career

Ruud van Nistelrooy’s international debut was a baptism with fire at an age of 22 in a high pressure friendly against

Germany

at Gelsenkirchen. He played the full ninety minutes in a 1-1 stalemate.

Nistelrooy began his glorious career for Netherlands. It was not always a cakewalk for him and many of the times he failed to replicate his club form for his country. But he still boasts an enviable and impressive tally of 35 goals in 70 matches.

His injuries made him miss some major tournaments. However, he lit up the 2004 Euros with sensational football. He led Netherlands to the semis where they lost to Portugal.

He also scored in 2006 World Cup and 2008 Euros but Netherlands could not make it past the second round in both occasions.

Ruud van Nistelrooy club career

A notable

fact about Ruud van Nistelrooy

is that he moved to Heerenveen for €360,000 the following year after scoring 12 goals in 31 matches in the 1996–97 campaign. He scored 13 goals in 31 games in his sole season with the club.

PSV Eindhoven

The next season, he was signed by PSV Eindhoven for €6.3 million, a then-record transfer fee between two Dutch clubs.

In addition to netting all 3 of PSV's goals in a Champions League match versus HJK Helsinki on November 25, 1998, he had the highest season total in the Eredivisie and the second-highest in Europe altogether.

An important fact about Ruud van Nistelrooy is that he won the Dutch Player of the Year title at the end of the year. With 29 goals the next season, he earned his second Eredivisie scoring crown.

Manchester United coach

Sir Alex Ferguson

revealed in a 2001 interview with The Daily Telegraph that his son, Darren, who was at tryouts for Eredivisie opponent Heerenveen at the time, pleaded his father, "You must immediately sign Van Nistelrooy; he is outstanding. We've been keeping an eye on him." Ferguson sent team officials to PSV's next league match, and Van Nistelrooy was signed the following day.

Manchester United

In the summer of 2000, Van Nistelrooy seemed to be on his way to

Manchester United

for a club record £18.5 million fee.

A notable fact about Ruud van Nistelrooy is that he was supposed to be introduced four days later at a news conference, but it was instead used to announce that the move had been postponed owing to worries about his health after not playing for a month due to knee difficulties.

After PSV declined to consent to further medical testing, the deal was canceled and the following day, during a training session, he ruptured his anterior cruciate knee ligaments, leaving him incapacitated for a year. After clearing his physical, Van Nistelrooy signed a five-year deal a year later.

"The price is not heavy for me - it boosts me up because it shows United have huge faith in me," he told reporters of United's £19 million investment. Van Nistelrooy earned his debut in the Charity Shield, netting in a 2–1 defeat to Liverpool.

Van Nistelrooy earned his Premier League start versus Fulham at Old Trafford on August 19, scoring two goals in a 3–2 victory for United. In a 3–2 defeat to Deportivo La Corua on October 17, he netted his first Champions League goals.

Van Nistelrooy netted his first Premier League hat-trick in a 6–1 victory against Southampton on December 22.

Due to a groin strain, Van Nistelrooy began on the bench for United's FA Cup third-round tie against Aston Villa, but was substituted on for Luke Chadwick in the second half with United down 2–0 and managed to score two "sublime" goals in three minutes to ensure United advance to the fourth round with a 3–2 win.

An important

fact about Ruud van Nistelrooy

is that he scored 23 goals in 32 league appearances during his first season. By scoring in eight straight league games, he surpassed the record he held with Mark Stein,

Alan Shearer

, and

Thierry Henry

. He also won the PFA Players' Player of the Year award after scoring 10 Champions League goals.

The next season, he ended as the top Premier League scorer with 25 goals in 34 games, winning the Golden Boot ahead of Arsenal's Thierry Henry thanks to a strike against Everton on the last day.

He scored three hat-tricks in three games against Newcastle United, Fulham, and Charlton Athletic. He also scored in each of United's last eight games to help them win the championship. In 2003, Van Nistelrooy was named Premier League Player of the Season.

With an "astonishing" goal tally, he was credited with driving United's championship success. He was awarded the top striker in Europe by UEFA after scoring 12 Champions League goals in nine straight matches.

A notable fact about Ruud van Nistelrooy is that he scored twice in his first two league games of the 2003–04 season. This meant he had scored in 10 straight league games, a Premier League record that remained until 2015, when Jamie Vardy scored in 11 straight games.

Van Nistelrooy was at the center of one of the most iconic events in the Arsenal–Manchester United rivalry in the 0–0 draw on September 21, 2003, afterwards nicknamed the Battle of Old Trafford.

Van Nistelrooy was assaulted by Martin Keown after missing a last-minute penalty that would have won the game for United. Five Arsenal players, including Keown, got varying suspensions and penalties, while the club received a record sanction of £175,000.

He had been fouled earlier in the game by Patrick Vieira, who was sent off for a second bookable offense. Both Vieira and his manager,

Arsène Wenger

, accused Van Nistelrooy of cheating and stomping on Vieira, causing Alex Ferguson to launch a vehement defense. He scored a hat-trick in a 4–1 win against Leicester City on September 27.

On February 7, 2004, he scored his 100th goal for the club in a thrilling 4–3 win against Everton. Van Nistelrooy scored twice in the FA Cup fifth round derby against

Manchester City

to assist ten-man United win 4–2, and he scored twice again in the quarter-final against Fulham as United rallied from behind to win 2–1.

In United's 2004 FA Cup Final triumph against Millwall, he scored two more goals, one of which was a penalty.

Van Nistelrooy was injured for most of the 2004–05 season, yet he still managed to score an impressive eight goals in the Champions League. On 15 September 2004, he scored his 30th career European goal in a 2–2 Champions League group stage tie with Lyon, surpassing Denis Law's previous club record of 28 goals. Later, Law told reporters, "I'm delighted for Ruud. It couldn't have happened to a better person."

Arsenal returned to Old Trafford on October 24 for another tense match. Arsenal had been called "The Invincibles" because to their 49-game undefeated streak, but United won the game 2–0. Van Nistelrooy scored the game's first goal from the penalty spot, making up for his previous year's penalty miss, and Wayne Rooney added a second.

Van Nistelrooy was subsequently suspended for three games when the referee missed a foul on Ashley Cole. Van Nistelrooy scored all four goals in a 4–1 triumph against Sparta Prague on November 3.

He scored two goals in a 4–1 victory against

Newcastle

in the FA Cup semi-final on April 17, 2005, but United lost the final on penalties to Arsenal.

An important fact about Ruud van Nistelrooy is that he netted in United's first 4 Premier League games in the 2005–06 season. With 21 goals, he finished second in the league behind Thierry Henry of Arsenal.

He was, however, benched for the League Cup Final against Wigan Athletic, fueling rumors of a breach between him and Alex Ferguson, which Van Nistelrooy refuted.

Despite being benched for six straight league games, Van Nistelrooy returned to the starting lineup and scored match-winning goals against West Ham United and Bolton Wanderers, new doubts about his future arose when he was benched for United's season-ending victory over Charlton Athletic.

Van Nistelrooy, according to Ferguson, was enraged by the decision and left the stadium three hours before kickoff. The withdrawal of Van Nistelrooy from the squad was reported on May 9, 2006, as a result of a training session brawl between him and teammate

Cristiano Ronaldo

.

Van Nistelrooy reportedly chastised Ronaldo for holding on to the ball rather than giving it to his teammates, resulting in a brawl, after which Van Nistelrooy allegedly said, "Go sobbing to your daddy," referring to United's Portuguese assistant manager, Carlos Queiroz.

Ronaldo, on the other hand, took the phrase literally and reportedly burst into tears, despite the fact that his father José had died eight months before. Later, Van Nistelrooy apologized to Ferguson for his actions in recent months.

Van Nistelrooy signed for Real Madrid in La Liga on July 28, leaving Old Trafford after five seasons and 150 goals in 219 games, with his last goal coming against Bolton on April 1, netting the game-winning goal. He is also the team's second all-time European goalscorer, following Wayne Rooney, with 38 goals.

Real Madrid

Ferguson revealed on July 15, 2006, that Van Nistelrooy wanted to leave Manchester United, and two weeks later, Real Madrid announced that he had signed a three-year deal after being acquired for €14 million.

On August 4, 2006, Van Nistelrooy made his debut for the Spanish club in a 1–0 friendly victory against Reggina.

Van Nistelrooy earned a hat-trick in his second league encounter against Levante, and he scored all four

Real Madrid

goals in a 4–1 win against Osasuna on November 12, 2006. For the first six months of his career, he was a teammate of Ronaldo, whom Van Nistelrooy considers to be the finest player he has ever played with.

A notable

fact about Ruud van Nistelrooy

is that he earned the league's Pichichi award with 25 goals as Real Madrid won the 2006–07 championship, and he also tied Hugo Sánchez for the longest continuous scoring run in La Liga history with seven consecutive matches.

Van Nistelrooy agreed a contract extension with Real Madrid in January 2008, extending his stay with the club until 2010, one day before his 34th birthday.

In March, he had ankle surgery and returned for the El Clásico derby versus

Barcelona

on May 7, scoring a penalty two minutes after coming in as a replacement. He scored 20 goals in 33 games this season.

Real Madrid confirmed in November 2008 that Van Nistelrooy will miss the balance of the 2008–09 season after exploratory arthroscopic surgery showed a partly torn meniscus in his right knee, with a six- to nine-month rehabilitation period estimated after a second procedure to correct the damage.

Van Nistelrooy traveled to the United States to meet Richard Steadman, a specialist who had operated on the same knee in 2000. He had scored 10 goals in 12 club games at the time of his injury.

He was de-registered by Real Madrid for the remainder of the 2008–09 season as a result of the injury, and his jersey number was handed to Dani Parejo.

Van Nistelrooy returned to the field for the first time since his injury on August 24, 2009, in the last pre-season match before the start of La Liga, replacing Kaká for the final 15 minutes of the game against Rosenborg.

In his first La Liga encounter after returning from injury, Van Nistelrooy came on for Cristiano Ronaldo in the 80th minute against Xerez. He assisted on a Karim Benzema goal in the 81st minute before scoring himself in the 88th minute.

However, he sustained a thigh injury after his hit, and Real Madrid subsequently announced that he would be out of first-team play for up to six weeks. Van Nistelrooy made his second appearance of the season on October 27, replacing Ral in the 71st minute of a Copa del Rey match against Alcorcón.

Hamburg

An important fact about Ruud van Nistelrooy is that he signed an 18-month deal with Hamburger SV until June 2011 on January 23, 2010. After coming off the substitute in the last two minutes of Hamburg's 3–3 tie with 1. FC Köln on February 6, he made his first appearance for the club.

After just a few minutes on the pitch, Van Nistelrooy scored his first two goals for Hamburg versus VfB Stuttgart in the 75th and 77th minutes in a 3–1 victory. In the 40th minute of Hamburg's encounter against

Anderlecht

on March 11, 2010, he got his first UEFA Europa League goal.

Van Nistelrooy's sole competitive hat-trick came in a 5–1 victory against Torgelower SV Greif in the first round of the 2010–11 DFB-Pokal on August 15, 2010.

He scored a brace in Hamburg's season-opening 2–1 win against Schalke 04 on August 21, 2010. He was pitted against Ral, a former Real Madrid colleague who was making his Bundesliga debut at the time.

In the January transfer window, Van Nistelrooy was linked with a return to Real Madrid, where he could be used on a short-term basis to cover for injuries to Gonzalo Higuain and

Karim Benzema

.

Manager José Mourinho would be delighted for Van Nistelrooy to join the club, having left the door open for him. Van Nistelrooy confessed he pondered returning to the club if the proposal was accepted.

The club, on the other hand, rejected Madrid's approach for Van Nistelrooy, issuing a warning to the club because Hamburg wants to retain him until the transfer market closes. Despite being enraged by the rejection of his transfer to Real Madrid, Van Nistelrooy said that he will stay dedicated to Hamburg.

Van Nistelrooy sustained a calf injury during a match between Hamburg and Hannover 96 on April 16, 2011, which kept him out until the last matchday. In his first full season with Hamburg, Van Nistelrooy scored seven goals and added two assists in 25 games.

Málaga

A notable fact about Ruud van Nistelrooy is that he returned to Spain on a free transfer on June 1, 2011, to sign a one-year contract with Málaga in La Liga.

Van Nistelrooy was unveiled in front of 15,000 Málaga supporters at La Rosaleda Stadium. In the first game of the 2011–12 season, he made his debut in a 2–1 defeat against

Sevilla

. Van Nistelrooy scored his first goal against Getafe on October 1, 2011.

He started the scoring with a volley against the same team on December 21, as Málaga won the Copa del Rey 3–2 on aggregate. Van Nistelrooy scored two more league goals against

Espanyol

and Racing Santander later in the season, the latter being his last goal of his career.

Van Nistelrooy made his last appearance of his career only one day before retiring, coming in as a substitute in the 75th minute for striker Salomón Rondón, who scored the game's lone goal in Málaga's league encounter against Sporting Gijón.

Van Nistelrooy confirmed his resignation from football on May 14, 2012, at the age of 35. He earlier hinted that his football career was coming to an end, telling Sport1 that Málaga would be his last club.

Ruud van Nistelrooy international career

Van Nistelrooy played 70 times for the Netherlands and scored 35 goals. On November 18, 1998, he made his national team debut in a friendly match against Germany. Van Nistelrooy was ruled out of Euro 2000 due to a cruciate ligament injury that forced him to postpone his move to Manchester United.

Due to the Netherlands' failure to qualify for the 2002 World Cup, Van Nistelrooy did not make his tournament debut until Euro 2004, when he and Milan Baro of the Czech Republic were the only players to score in all three group stage matches. The Netherlands made it to the semi-finals, but were beaten 2–1 by hosts Portugal. Van Nistelrooy was chosen to the all-star team for the tournament.

He scored in a 4–0 victory against bottom-placed Andorra in a 2006 World Cup qualifying match and was yellow-carded for approaching Andorra player Antoni Lima and celebrating in front of him, after an incident six minutes earlier in which Van Nistelrooy missed a penalty and Lima scoffed at him.

He was a member of coach Marco van Basten's World Cup-winning team in 2006, and he also acted as the honorary FIFA/SOS ambassador for the tournament.

In all of the Netherlands' group stage matches, he started and was replaced, and he scored the lone goal against the Ivory Coast. Van Nistelrooy was benched by Van Basten without explanation for the Netherlands' second-round encounter against Portugal, which saw them eliminated once again.

On August 16, 2006, Van Basten left the striker out of the team for a friendly against the Republic of Ireland. Van Nistelrooy was substituted by Dirk Kuyt in their September encounter against

Portugal

.

Van Nistelrooy turned down Van Basten's plea to take his spot on the team when Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was ruled out of the Euro 2008 qualifiers against Bulgaria and Belarus due to injury.

Following ongoing issues with Van Basten, which began in 2006 during the World Cup finals matches, Van Nistelrooy announced his retirement from international football on January 23, 2007.

However, after numerous phone calls and the influence of veteran goalie Edwin van der Sar, both player and coach agreed to put their disagreements aside. Van Basten confirmed Van Nistelrooy's return to the Oranje four months later.

Van Nistelrooy took Huntelaar's place in the qualifier against Bulgaria on September 8, scoring in a 2–0 victory, and four days later scored the winning goal in injury time in the Netherlands' triumph against

Albania

.

Van Nistelrooy scored in the Netherlands' 3–0 group-stage triumph against Italy and the equalizer in their eventual 3–1 quarter-final defeat to Russia. He declared his retirement from international competition once again on August 4th.

Van Nistelrooy made himself available again in the build-up to the 2010 World Cup, but was overlooked by new Netherlands coach Bert van Marwijk.

Van Nistelrooy stated he had no option but to accept the truth that his international career was over after being left out of the World Cup.

Van Marwijk offered Van Nistelrooy an opportunity to retake his place as the Netherlands' primary striker when main striker

Robin van Persie

sustained an injury during a match with his club Arsenal.

Van Nistelrooy was invited to two Euro 2012 qualifying matches for the Netherlands, against San Marino and Finland. On September 3, 2010, he scored in a 5–0 win against San Marino.

After injuries to forwards Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, Arjen Robben, and Theo Janssen, Van Nistelrooy was recalled to the team in March 2011 for two Euro 2012 qualifying games against Hungary.

In the 25th of March, he came on as a late substitution for Dirk Kuyt, and four days later, he came off the bench to score his 35th international goal in Amsterdam. He told Berend Scholten that it's "great to be able to contribute something to this Oranje squad."

Ruud van Nistelrooy style of play

Van Nistelrooy was a prolific goalscorer who was known for being clinical and opportunistic in front of goal. He was known for his exceptional striking ability and finishing ability with either foot or his head all through his career, earning him a notoriety as one of the best forwards of his generation.

He found success at finding space in the penalty area and predicting his adversaries to the ball, and was also recognized for his ability to time his runs to lose his indicators, beat the offside trap, and get on the end of his team members' passes; his propensity to be in the right place at the right time in the box saw him occasionally dubbed a "poacher" in the media.

Ruud van Nistelrooy social media

Regarding

Ruud van Nistelrooy social media

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

@rvnistelrooy

) with 576k followers.

He also has a Twitter account (

@RvN1776

) with 1.5 million followers. He often posts new stuff on his Twitter page.

Ruud van Nistelrooy body measurements

Speaking about

Ruud van Nistelrooy body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the former player is 188 cm and 80 kg.

Ruud van Nistelrooy net worth and salary

Ruud van Nistelrooy net worth

is estimated to be around $30 million dollars. Van Nistelrooy served as an ESPN studio commentator for the 2014 World Cup.

Van Nistelrooy was a Nike athlete who featured in ads for the corporation. He starred in a "Secret Tournament" commercial (branded "Scorpion KO") directed by Terry Gilliam in the run-up to the 2002 World Cup in Korea and Japan, alongside football players such as Thierry Henry, Ronaldo, Edgar Davids, Fabio Cannavaro, Francesco Totti, Ronaldinho, Luis Figo, and Hidetoshi Nakata, with former player Eric Cantona as the tournament referee.

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