Marco Van Basten, Milan's swan punished by the Gods of football

Marco Van Basten, Milan's swan punished by the Gods of football
A looked like a slim guy with a gentle face, but he was one of the most ruthless strikers in the history of football. As strong on the pitch as unlucky: he had to retire at his 30
by Mohamed Ezzat
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“San Marco “ is not the Christian saint who’s church lies in the heart of Venice, our “San Marco” is the player who was so prolific in front of the goal that the fans gave him this name. Our football saint is the Dutch player Marco (Marcel) Van Basten. Marco was born on the 31st October, 1964 in the city of Utrecht, where he started his football career at the age of 6 at a local team, EDO.

At the age of seven he moved to UVV, where he spent 9 years. After which he moved to another club in Utrecht named Elinkwijk. His professional career began in 1981, at the tender age of 17 Marco was spotted by Ajax's scouts. He was aware of the great prospects this opportunity could provide and hence agreed to join the famous football club in Amsterdam. 

 The coaches at Ajax immediately recognized Marco’s great potential. He demonstrated what a great striker he could become already in his debut (April 3, 1982), in which Van Basten immediately scored a goal. What's more, in that match he was substituted on for the famous Dutch footballer, Johan Cruyff. In the following season Marco scored 9 goals. However, his most important achievement arrived in 1983 when he earned a call up to the Dutch national team, on the 7th of September, in a match against Iceland. Van Basten scored his first goal for the Oranje only two weeks later, in a very prestigious match against Belgium. 

Marco was unrivalled in the Dutch Eredivisie; he was top scorer four times. He also won the Golden Boot Award in 1986 with 37 goals in only 26 matches! During his rip-roaring stay in Ajax, Marco scored 151 goals, appearing in 172 games and his outstanding performances for the Dutch club was topped off with a victory in the Cup Winner's Cup. As befits a champion, he found the back of the net in the final.

On the international stage, the Dutch striker scored some memorable goals like the one in the final against the USSR ending the game and the European championship in his country’s favor, as well as giving him the title of top goal scorer with 5 goals. He also gave his contribution in the 1990 World Cup and earned the third place in Euro 1992. His score with the Oranje is impressive as well: 58 caps, 24 goals.

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