Over time, the Netherlands has produced some truly outstanding footballers, and most of them have surpassed the status of Dutch football stars and become internationally famous. Give me 5 minutes of your time and I’ll give you a rundown of all-time football stars in the Netherlands, including players like Dennis Bergkamp, Johan Cruyff, Rod Gullit, Frank Rijkaard or Marco van Basten who are all the same. How to play and distinguish his name in the World Hall of Fame. But enough chatter, go to work:
Cruyff is considered the greatest Dutch footballer of all time and has gained legendary status wherever he plays, be it with Ajax, Barcelona or even Feyenoord. Cruyff is also ranked third on the list of greatest footballers of all time, after Pele and Maradona closely (some say he was above Maradona, as Maradona had great skills along with bad matches, while Cruyff maintained a high standard for himself throughout. His career). He has redefined modern football as we know it through his style of play and his vision on the field, and many football professionals agree that Johan Cruyff was one of the smartest and most sensual players ever on the grass on the soccer field.
Dutch football stars – Rod Gullit
Gullit was one of the biggest stars in Dutch football during the 1980s and 1990s and was among the first to be known as the “complete midfielder”. This means he can play any position in midfield that a coach puts him into, from a defensive role to a supporting midfielder to an offensive midfielder. Together with Marco Van Basten and Frank Rijkaard, he managed to bring his first International Cup to the Netherlands, winning the European Championship in 1988.
Dutch Football Stars – Frank Rijkaard
Along with Gullit and Van Basten, Rijkaard formed an internationally famous midfield triangle for his club, Milan, and his national team. Building on this triangle, Milan has enjoyed a colossal period of success, winning the European Cup (today’s European Champions League) twice and the Italian League Championship in two versions. The same success soon came at the national level as well, as the Dutch national soccer team won the 1988 European Championship with a team based on three great players. Although Frank Rijkaard did not stand out like Ruud Gullit or Van Basten, playing a more defensive role in the team, playing alongside “side kicks” would constitute an unstoppable midfield for any team.
Dutch football stars – Marco van Basten
Although no one could ever reach the throne of Johan Cruyff as the greatest Dutch soccer star of all time, Van Basten was close enough and definitely closer than anyone else. His remarkable career at Ajax and Milan, as well as his goals with the Dutch national football team, has made many people see Cruyff’s successor in Van Basten. Unfortunately, after several successful seasons with AC Milan and winning the European Championship with his homeland in 1988, Van Basten sustained an ankle injury when he was only 30 years old.