Dutch Football has gifted the world a few of the most skillful players in the history of the game. Some of them went on to become the very best in the world. From the times of Johan Cruyff, Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit to the modern day Wesley Sneijder, Arjen Robben, Robin van Persie and Dirk Kuyt – the list goes on. In amidst this list of greats, Dennis Bergkamp holds a special place in the history of the game, even 12 years after he hung up his boots.
On Bergkamp’s 49th birthday, Sports-nova wishes the Dutchman with a special tribute by providing with a collection of his top 4 goals.
4) Versus RKC Walwijk, Eredivisie 1992-93 at Sportpark Olympia, Walwijk(03 October 1992):
The Dutch maestro started his professional football career with his boyhood club AFC Ajax when he was promoted to the senior team by the legendary Johan Cruyff in 1986. Since his debut at 17, Bergkamp made 185 appearances for the 33-times Dutch Champions, scoring 105 times. He probably scored his best in the Ajax colours during an away match against RKC Walwijk in the league in 1992.
The move started with a neat short pass build-up, which was a trademark Ajax thing during Louis van Gaal era. After a cross from the right was headed out by the Walwijk defence, the ball fell kindly to the Ajax number 10. After an apt first touch, he expertly dribbled away from the two onrushing defenders with his next. After entering the D-Box, Bergkamp spotted the goalkeeper to be slightly off his line, and without a further delay, produced one of his trademark chips. The helpless goalkeeper could only see the ball travel over his head onto the back of the net while going back towards his line.
3) Versus Rapid Bucharest, UEFA Cup 1993-94 at Stadio San Siro, Milan(15 September 1993):
The Dutch sensation joined Italian giants Inter Milan in 1993 from Ajax. In spite of his high profile transfer to the Serie A club, he did not find too much success there. During his two seasons at the 3-times European Champions he scored only 11 times in 52 appearances (8 of which came in their UEFA Cup winning campaign in 1993-94 campaign).
His best goal in the Black and Blue of Inter came in the First leg of the First Round against Rapid Bucharest, a game in which he scored a hat-trick. An Igor Shalimov cross was tucked in by the Inter number 10 with an incredible “Scissor’s Kick”, that left the goalkeeper left to be a spectator for the top class finish.
2) Versus Newcastle United, Premier League 2001-02 at St. James’ Park, Newcastle(02 March 2002):
After a troubled time at the Blue side of Milan, Bergkamp moved to the Red side of London for Arsenal FC. During his 11 years legendary stay at the North London club, he scored 87 times in 315 appearances for Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal. In an Arsenal career with a host of unbelievable goals, his most awe inspiring one came in the game at Newcastle in the 2001-02 season.
After passing the ball onto the wing to teammate Robert Pires on the left, the “Non-Flying Dutchman” started a run from the centre of the pitch. Frenchman Pires ran down the wing before finding Bergkamp back on the edge of the circle, who made the run almost unmarked. The Arsenal number 10 made jaws drop with his out of the world first touch on his left foot, before making a swift turn to get away from a defender lurking by. The Holland International then guided the ball passed the diving keeper with his right foot.
1) Versus Argentina, FIFA World Cup 1998 at Stade Vélodrome, Marseille (04 July 1998):
Dennis Bergkamp is the fourth on the all time list of scorers for the Holland National Football Team. The Dutchman scored 37 times during his time of 79 appearances for the Oranje. But any football fan who has seen this great man play, will always say that his greatest goal ever came in the 1998 FIFA World Cup Quarter Final match against Argentina. The match was clearly heading into extra time after Claudio Lopez had cancelled out Patrick Kluivert’s opening goal. In the dying minutes of the game, captain Frank de Boer sent out a long ball from the left of inside their half. A running Bergkamp got away from his marker Jose Chamot before receiving the long ball with his right. The Dutch number 8 then took another touch to take the ball away from an onrushing Roberto Ayala before beating goalkeeper Carlos Roa with the outstep of his right. The goal sent the Dutch into the semis and became one of the greatest ever scored in the World Cup Finals.
Which of the above Bergkamp goal is the best for you? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo by Kieran Clarke