Top facts about Pierre van Hooijdonk, Saint Pierre

Tue 11 January 2022 | 14:30

Pierre Van Hooijdonk is the Celtic legend who scored 52 goals in 84 appearances. He eventually left the club over a wage dispute towards the end of the 1996–97 season. Read on to find out more facts about Pierre van Hooijdonk.

Pierre van Hooijdonk (born 29 November 1969) is a former Dutch professional football striker. He played for teams all throughout Europe and was a prolific goal scorer.

Pierre van Hooijdonk’s age

is 52. Here you can find the most important facts about Pierre van Hooijdonk, the Celtic legend.

The first fact about Pierre van Hooijdonk is that he earned 46 caps for the Dutch national team, scoring 14 goals and appearing in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Euro 2000, and Euro 2004. Some consider him to be one of the best free kick experts of all time because of his bending free kicks.

Van Hooijdonk was born in the town of Steenbergen. Van Hooijdonk's Moroccan biological father abandoned his mother before his birth. He grew raised in Welberg, a little town near Steenbergen, in the Netherlands. His favorite team was NAC Breda, whose games he enthusiastically watched.

At the age of 11, he took part in a tryout at the NAC open day while playing for local team SC Welberg's youth group, wowed their scouts, and joined the club.

An important fact about Pierre van Hooijdonk is that he was mostly a right midfielder at the time; when he was 14, he was cut from NAC's program and moved into amateur football with VV Steenbergen. He subsequently changed positions to become a striker and rose through the ranks of the club's first squad.

Top facts about Pierre van Hooijdonk:

Petrus Ferdinandus Johannes Pierre van Hooijdonk, or Aziz Pierre to Turkish football fans, is a Dutch player who has had a significant effect everywhere he has played.

Not only was he a prolific scorer, particularly dangerous from free-kicks, but he was also difficult to man-mark or contend with in the air, says Andries Oosterveen.

Pierre van Hooijdonk early life

Van Hooijdonk was born in 1969 in the tiny Dutch town of Welberg, close to Steenbergen. He was a great admirer of NAC Breda as a kid, but he got his start as a player by playing for SC Welberg's junior squad. After attending an open day at NAC, he was seen by club scouts and signed with them to play as a right-sided midfielder.

Speaking about

Pierre van Hooijdonk’s childhood

, it should be mentioned that he was released three years later, at the age of 14, and played amateur football as a striker for five years, two of which were in the real first team.


Pierre van Hooijdonk’s parents

, it is worth mentioning that his biological father is of Moroccan descent. He never met him and he considers Jan van Hooijdonk, the husband of his Dutch mother, to be his father.

Pierre van Hooijdonk personal life

Van Hooijdonk is the father of professional footballer Sydney van Hooijdonk. In May 2008, it was announced that van Hooijdonk had been a victim of fraud and had lost £2,000,000 to a scheme in which he invested in a Chinese textile firm that did not exist.

Pierre van Hooijdonk professional career

Pierre Van Hooijdonk signed his first professional contract with his boyhood club NAC Breda, after joining from amateur side RBC Roosendaal, and instantly found his feet in the professional game. Pierre netted an impressive 81 goals in 115 games over four seasons with NAC, helping the club to promotion to the Eredivisie in 1993.

In his last season with the club, Van Hooijdonk set a league record for goals in consecutive games at 11, and in December 1994 was called up to the Dutch national team.

Pierre van Hooijdonk club career

Because RBC Roosendaal was in financial problems, they were forced to use young players in their senior squads. Van Hooijdonk made his RBC debut as a substitute during the 1988–89 season. He quickly scored three goals for the club while appearing as a substitute.

With the club's top striker out with an injury, Van Hooijdonk played practically the whole second half of the season, scoring six goals in 32 games. Soon after, he got his first professional deal with RBC. Van Hooijdonk had a bigger impact the next season, becoming a crucial member for the squad and scoring 27 goals in 37 games.

Several clubs, including NAC Breda, shown interest in him. Van Hooijdonk did not hesitate to accept a deal with NAC and return to his hometown club.

NAC Breda

Van Hooijdonk's move cost NAC 400,000 guilders. When he returned to NAC, he was both upbeat and ready to demonstrate his abilities.

An important

fact about Pierre van Hooijdonk

is that he was successful in this, and he went on to assist the club earn promotion to the Eredivisie in 1993. During his stay with the club, he received his first call-up to play for the


in December 1994. Throughout the remainder of the season, he scored in 11 consecutive Eredivisie matches.

During the 1994–95 winter break, Celtic struck an agreement with NAC that saw Van Hooijdonk join the Scottish club immediately. In 115 appearances with NAC, he scored 81 goals.


Van Hooijdonk made his Celtic debut against Hearts at Hampden Park on 11 January 1995. The striker made an immediate impression for his new squad by hitting a spectacular first goal. Hearts later equalized, and the game ended 1–1.

A notable fact about Pierre van Hooijdonk is that he adjusted easily at Celtic and rapidly became a fan favorite. Celtic had not won a trophy in six years when Van Hooijdonk came.


won the Scottish Cup that season, with Van Hooijdonk scoring the lone goal in the final against Airdrie in May 1995.

Van Hooijdonk was in superb form for Celtic the next season, 1995–96. He scored 32 goals, including 26 in the League, to finish as the leading scorer.

His ability to score from free kicks was particularly impressive. Despite Van Hooijdonk's goals and the excellent football produced by manager Tommy Burns' team, Celtic concluded the season without a trophy.

The next season at Celtic, 1996–97, was a difficult one for both the player and the club. A quarrel with Celtic chairman/owner Fergus McCann would go on, and as a consequence, he was often benched.

Guus Hiddink, the manager of the Dutch national team, then informed him that he would not be considered for such a squad as long as he was not a regular at Celtic.

He finally departed Celtic at the conclusion of the 1996–97 season due to a salary disagreement, claiming that the rumored £7,000 a week raise he was being promised was "good enough for the destitute" to live on, but "not for an international striker." Van Hooijdonk scored 52 goals in 84 games for Celtic. He then joined Nottingham Forest in a move for up to £4.5 million.

Nottinghamshire Forest

An important

fact about Pierre van Hooijdonk

is that he joined at a time when Forest were in grave relegation peril and trying to stay in the Premier League.

On 11 March 1997, he made his debut for Forest in a 1–1 draw against Blackburn. It was thought that the addition of van Hooijdonk would help them survive, but he only scored one goal in eight games for them that season.

Despite the fact that only one of the games was lost, the other seven were drawn, and Forest were demoted as a result. He quickly devoted his future to assist the team in regaining its standing.

The next season was a resounding success for both him and Forest. Forest won the championship and promotion in a difficult league (against


, Charlton, and Middlesbrough), with van Hooijdonk scoring 34 goals and forming a strong connection with striking partner Kevin Campbell, who scored 23 goals.

He was a regular member of the Dutch national team, and he was nominated to the Dutch squad for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, where he scored as a replacement against South Korea.

After the World Cup, he learned that the projected squad strengthening to allow Forest to compete in the Premier League had not occurred, and that his striking partner Campbell (who had a chronic back ailment) had been moved to


for £2.5 million.

The club had also revealed that Scot Gemmill had been sacked from the first squad for refusing to sign a new contract, and that club captain and terrace hero Colin Cooper would be allowed to go for Middlesbrough, who had been promoted alongside them as runners-up. Van Hooijdonk requested a move. The new owners of the club declined.

Van Hooijdonk stated that he had previously been told that he could leave the club at the end of the 1997–98 season if he so desired, that he felt betrayed by the club's owners, who had failed to deliver on their promises to him regarding team strengthening, and that he felt he could no longer play for his employers.

Forest, eager for a striker, refused to let him be transferred, thus van Hooijdonk declared his intention to strike. He stayed in shape by exercising with his previous team, NAC Breda.

A notable

fact about Pierre van Hooijdonk

is that he attracted criticism from both fans and players, including teammate Steve Stone and manager Dave Bassett, for his behavior.

The club refused to listen to bids for him since they required a quality scorer, and the stand-off continued until early November, when van Hooijdonk decided to return and participate in a game against Wimbledon.

By this point, the team was once again in danger of relegation, sitting at the bottom of the league with no wins in nine games. Between then until the conclusion of the season, he appeared in just a few games.

He scored six goals in 19 Premier League appearances, including his first strike in his third game back against Forest's arch rivals Derby County, which helped the club get a point.

Most of his teammates declined to celebrate with him after this goal, instead heading to Scot Gemmill, the guy who crossed the ball to him. He also scored a last-minute home equalizer against rivals Liverpool with a spectacular free-kick, preserving Forest's unbroken home record against them dating back to 1984.

In another game against

Leicester City

, he scored to put Forest up 1-0 but was later sent off as the game ended 3-1. Forest finished last in the Premier League in 1998–99 and were relegated.


At the conclusion of the 1998–99 season, he returned to the Netherlands with SBV Vitesse in a £3.5 million deal to resume his career, and he did much to persuade his detractors of his goal-scoring talents as he guided Arnhem to a UEFA Cup berth with 25 goals in one season. During this time, he also returned to the Dutch national team.


An important fact about Pierre van Hooijdonk is that he then signed a three-year contract with Benfica in 2000, when he teamed up with one of Celtic F.C.'s "three amigos," Jorge Cadete.

He only played with them for one season, scoring 19 goals. He encountered the same structural issues at Benfica as he did at Nottingham Forest, and the squad employed three different managers over the season. Van Hooijdonk was demoted to the club's second team by the club's new chairman, who had lost trust in him.

Benfica intended to transfer Van Hooijdonk to another foreign team, but all he wanted was to return to his native country. He joined with his fourth Dutch club,


, towards the conclusion of the 2000–01 season.


He will be recognized for his free kick talents and his contribution to Feyenoord's UEFA Cup victory in 2001–02. In the final at De Kuip, he scored two goals against Borussia Dortmund, while his contributions helped Feyenoord defeat Freiburg, Rangers, PSV Eindhoven, and Inter Milan in previous stages.

Fenerbahçe SK

Never one to settle, van Hooijdonk joined Fenerbahçe SK at the start of the 2003–04 season, appearing in 52 games and scoring 32 goals for the Turkish side (24 in his first season).

Fans dubbed him Aziz Pierre (which translates to Saint Pierre in Turkish). He wore the number 17, which he also wore for the national team. He won the Süper Lig title with Fenerbahçe in 2003–04 (his first top-tier championship) and again the following year.

Return to NAC

A notable fact about Pierre van Hooijdonk is that he returned to his previous club, NAC, in mid-2005, and played 17 games, scoring 5 goals. During the 2005–06 season's winter transfer window, he moved for another former club, Feyenoord, where he scored 8 goals in 37 appearances.

Van Hooijdonk announced his retirement on October 17, 2006, at the conclusion of the 2006–07 season. After a tie with Feyenoord against FC Groningen in the play-offs, he ultimately played his last professional match on 13 May 2007, having played 550 games (335 goals) in the top levels in 18 seasons of professional football.

Pierre van Hooijdonk international career

Van Hooijdonk played forty-six international matches for the Dutch national team and scored fourteen goals. He made his international debut as a substitute on December 14, 1994 against


, the same match in which

Clarence Seedorf

also made his debut in Orange.

The most memorable match in which he fully lived up to this status, also named so by himself in an interview, was the World Cup qualifier against Wales on 5 October 1996. Trailing 1–0, he was brought in in the seventy-first minute and bowed within barely three minutes into the game with two goals. The Netherlands eventually won 1–3.

Van Hooijdonk was part of the squad for the 1998 World Cup in France, where the Netherlands finished fourth. In the semi-final against Brazil, he was knocked down in the penalty area by Júnior Baiano in the closing stages of overtime (at a score of 1–1) but was not awarded a penalty by referee Ali Bujsaim. Brazil eventually won on penalties.

His most important international appearance was probably the World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic in 2004, which the Netherlands won 2–0 thanks to two goals from Van Hooijdonk. On November 17, 2004, he played his last international match against Andorra, led by national coach

Marco van Basten


Pierre van Hooijdonk legacy

Pierre van Hooijdonk’s football career started with neighboring NAC Breda, where he was rejected after excelling during a youth trial. He returned home to join VV Steenbergen, where he was quickly transformed into a striker.

It wasn't long before he was on the move again, this time to RBC Roosendaal, and within two years, Breda had returned to sign him; a chance to make a point against the club that had brutally disposed of him some years previously was too tempting to pass up.

During his four seasons at the NAC Stadion, he scored 81 goals in 115 games. Van Hooijdonk, 25, was nearing the end of his career, and interested parties started to gather around the strong striker.

The Bosman decision had transformed the transfer scene, not just for players but also for clubs, who were now desperate to gain an advantage over their competitors in any manner they could.

Nowhere was this truer than in Scotland. Rangers were in the midst of winning nine championships in a row, while their Glaswegian rivals were deep in misery, both on and off the field.

Fergus McCann came in to salvage Celtic as they were on the point of going bankrupt after an ugly penalty shootout loss to Raith Rovers in the Scottish League Cup final. With McCann tightening the purse reins, Burns and his team set out to narrow the gap between themselves and the Ibrox juggernaut.

Earnie Stewart of the United States was on the shopping list, but when they studied video footage of the NAC Breda winger, they couldn't help but notice the towering, strong striker clutching onto the end of every cross. A price of £1.5 million was agreed upon, and Van Hooijdonk was soon on his way to Scotland.

Later that summer, German World Cup champion Andreas Thom came at Celtic Park on an extraordinary £10,000-a-week contract, providing the Bhoys with a fresh armament in their effort to unseat Walter Smith's Rangers. Van Hooijdonk struck the ground running at the start of Celtic's new era, scoring on his debut in a win against Hearts and helping to break the club's trophy drought at the conclusion of his first season.

The game was decided by a soaring header, with no repetition of the previous year's shock as Airdrie were eliminated. The Rangers' championship streak was expected to come to an end shortly.

The Dutchman finished the season with 32 goals as Celtic only lost once – to Rangers – but far too many draws dashed their ambitions of finishing ahead of their opponents.

Burns added to his firepower by bringing in Paolo Di Canio and Jorge Cadete after Van Hooijdonk had adjusted nicely to life in Glasgow. McCann dubbed the team the Three Amigos, but the moniker was everything but pleasant. The additions of the hot-headed Di Canio and the aloof Cadete were little more than fuel for the flames.

Following a dismal loss, the Italian summoned a squad meeting, during which Burns' four offensive additions were divided into two groups. Di Canio and Cadete vs. Van Hooijdonk and Thom Meanwhile, the rest of the crew was perplexed.

Van Hooijdonk had grown to believe his own hype, and with contract negotiations underway, he was prepared to clash with the astute McCann. With the Bosman judgment looming, McCann sought to end the matter fast, offering his star striker £7,000 per week to prolong his contract.

Van Hooijdonk sought £20,000 and wrote in his newspaper column, "£7,000 is plenty for a destitute person, but not a top-flight player."

Ill-advised may be an understatement: he subsequently blamed the remarks on the ghostwriter who ghosted his column, but Van Hooijdonk thought Celtic had broken a pact to boost his salary if he delivered, which he did, despite missing an Old Firm penalty.

He adopted an unorthodox stance, refusing to participate in club promotional activities and charity trips at first. When he was picked as a replacement in a UEFA Cup match against Hamburg, the angry Dutchman refused to warm up. His days at Celtic Park seemed to be short, and despite all of his problems, there would always be another team ready to ignore them if he could deliver on the field.

Nottingham Forest were fighting to avoid relegation when Van Hooijdonk came from Celtic in a £4.5 million transaction in March 1997. Unfortunately for them, his signing turned out to be a blunder.

His presence was not the magical cure the Tricky Trees needed; he only managed one goal as they plummeted to the bottom of the league and were relegated.

Dropping down a tier sparked Van Hooijdonk's City Ground career, as he and Kevin Campbell became a dangerous combo that helped Forest return to the Premier League at the first attempt. Van Hooijdonk scored 34 goals that season, while striking partner Campbell scored 23.

The Dutchman's progress had earned him a call-up to the Netherlands World Cup team ahead of France 98, but Forest resisted interest from PSV Eindhoven behind the scenes. Van Hooijdonk was interested in a transfer to the Eredivisie and believed that if Forest gained promotion, they would not stand in his way.

Perhaps knowing that allowing Van Hooijdonk to depart would enrage the supporters, Forest instead sold Campbell to Trabzonspor, allowing captain Colin Cooper to return to his home north-east. This was unacceptable to Van Hooijdonk. The high-level replacements he had been promised did not materialize.

It was a betrayal of the goals he had scored during the promotion season, as well as a sheer lack of desire on the part of the organization. His dissatisfaction with Bassett's training techniques further added to his angst. Things came to a head when he went AWOL from the club and refused to train or play for Forest.

What he planned to achieve from this is unknown, and his strike eventually led to Bassett's dismissal as Forest fell to the bottom of the league during his strike. Forest declined to trade him, and the season started without the two attackers whose goals helped them gain promotion.

Van Hooijdonk returned to the Netherlands and resumed training with his previous team NAC to stay in shape. Guus Hiddink, the national team manager, would entice him back to work after claiming that van Hooijdonk would not be considered for his teams if he wasn't playing for a club.

The City Ground fans reacted angrily to his return, supporting the player who had provided the assist rather than celebrating his goals.

The return of Ron Atkinson to English management couldn't rescue Forest, with the memorable incident in which he sat in the incorrect dugout before his first game back serving as an excellent summary of the club's season in the top division. Forest finished 20th and were relegated for the second time.

Van Hooijdonk afterwards returned to his own country and signed with Vitesse, bringing his five-year stint in British football to an end. There was no question about his ability, but recollections of his goals from afar and bullying of defenses faded when he was reminded of his pompous outbursts.

Some quick facts about Pierre van Hooijdonk:

RBC Roosendaal had financial difficulties in 1989 and relied heavily on young players. Van Hooidjonk received his first opportunity here, first with cameo appearances off the bench, when he scored goals.

As his confidence rose and RBC's primary scorer was injured, Van Hooijdonk ended up playing two seasons there between 1989 and 1991, appearing in 69 games and scoring 33 goals. His childhood club, NAC Breda, ultimately took notice, and he joined without hesitation with NAC Breda in 1991, for the amazing fee of four Dutch Guilders.

A notable fact about Pierre van Hooijdonk is that he played 115 games for Breda between 1991 and 1995, scoring 81 goals. He was even more determined to show them what he could accomplish since he had been told he wasn't good enough years previously when playing in their young teams.

He contributed to the team's promotion to the Eredivisie and established a goal scoring record of 11 straight games, while also earning his first international call up. All of this led to a 1995 move to Scottish footballing behemoths Glasgow Celtic.

Van Hooijdonk's amazing goal scoring would continue at Celtic. He was not widely recognized in the United Kingdom, but by the conclusion of his stay at Celtic, he would be far from it. Between 1995 and 1997, he appeared in 84 games for Celtic, scoring 52 goals.

It's not a terrible approach to get to know the people of the United Kingdom. Unfortunately, he did not have a good connection with Celtic owner Fergus McCann at the conclusion of his tenure there, and he was promptly transferred to the English team Nottingham Forest in 1997.

Despite Nottingham Forest's relegation battle, he made 71 appearances and scored 36 goals during his two-year stay from 1997 to 1999.

Despite this, he was unable to prevent the club from being relegated, and his decision to go on strike when certain promises about investment in the squad were violated did not go down well with other players, fans, the media, and the club's owners. He opted to return to Holland after finally being permitted to depart.

An important fact about Pierre van Hooijdonk is that he spent one season at Vitesse Arnhem and one season at Benfica in Portugal between 1999 and 2001.

Both experiences were fruitful for him, allowing him to shake off the tarnished image he had acquired while at Nottingham Forest. He played 29 games for Vitesse, scoring 25 goals, and 30 games for


, scoring 19 goals.

Internal issues within Benfica's management, like with Forest, caused him to relocate. So, in 2001, Van Hooijdonk joined Dutch giants Feyenoord, bringing his signature free-kicks and excellent goal-to-game ratio with him.

He scored 52 goals in 61 appearances between 2001 and 2003. The 2002 UEFA Cup Final in Rotterdam against Bundesliga side

Borussia Dortmund

was one of the most memorable games in which he made a significant impact with his free kicks.

In the final, he scored two remarkable goals that would go down in Feyenoord mythology. However, as is still the case now, Feyenoord's financial situation proved untenable, and they were obliged to transfer him to Fenerbahce in Turkey.

Van Hooijdonk had not stayed at any club for long before then, but with Fenerbache he won his only two league championships, and his 32 goals in 52 games between 2003 and 2005 earned him the moniker Saint Pierre or Aziz Pierre among the Fenerbahce supporters.

He was nearing the end of his career and returned to Holland for the last time in 2005, when he had two brief periods with NAC Breda, scoring 5 goals in 17 games before departing in 2006 and concluding his career with Feyenoord, where he played 37 games and scored 8 goals.

A notable fact about Pierre van Hooijdonk is that he appeared in 46 international games for Holland, scoring 14 goals. He made an impression everywhere he went and is obviously one of the finest attackers Holland has ever produced.

Aside from his commentary job, it is encouraging to see that he remains active in the game, since he is heavily engaged in mentoring young players at Feyenoord's Varkenwood Academy in Rotterdam.

It was reported in 2008 that van Hooijdonk had been a victim of fraud and had lost £2,000,000 to a scam, which involved him investing in a Chinese textile company which did not exist.

Pierre van Hooijdonk social media


Pierre van Hooijdonk social media

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


) with more than 99k followers. In the page we can see various pictures of him with the fans and his family.

He also has a Twitter account (


) with more than 250k followers. He often posts new stuff on his Twitter page.

Pierre van Hooijdonk body measurements

Speaking about

Pierre van Hooijdonk body measurements

, it should be mentioned that the former star is 186 cm and 83 kg.

Pierre van Hooijdonk net worth and salary

Pierre van Hooijdonk's net worth

is estimated to be between $6 million and $7 million. He has amassed enormous money as a result of his major profession as a soccer player.

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