Dennis Nicolaas Maria Bergkamp is a former Dutch professional football player. He was born on 10 May 1969 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He mainly played the role of a second striker at the forward position. He started as a wide midfielder and then played as a striker. His good performances has led him to win the FIFA World Player of the Year award in 1993 and also to be selected by Pelé as one of the FIFA 100 greatest living players.
He played as an amateur in the lower leagues. He started his professional career at Ajax at the age of 11.
In 1989 Bergkamp debuted for Netherlands U21 and went on to play 2 games for this category of the national team. Next in 1990 he debuted for Netherlands B, the squad which is currently non-existent. Finally on September 26, 1990, he debuted for the Netherlands national team in a 1:0 lost international friendly match against Italy. He substituted for Frank de Boer who was absent for the match.
Rise to glory
Bergkamp scored five goals in the qualification for the 1994 FIFA World Cup and was thus selected for the finals. He featured in every game of the tournament and scored goals in the 1:2 win over Morocco in the group stages and in the 2:0 win over the Republic of Ireland in the round-of-16. He went on to score a goal in the quarter-finals against Brazil. But the goal didn’t help the team as it exited the tournament with a 2:3 loss to Brazil.
After his first goal against Greece in 1990, he scored two more goals against Malta in the European Qualifiers. For the European Qualifiers, he again scored goals in the next year. He scored 5 goals in the World Cup qualification Europe.
On 9th November 1996, he scored his first hat-trick for the national team against Wales in the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification. This helped Netherlands finish first in their group and thus qualify for the 1998 FIFA World Cup. One of his three goal scored included a memorable winning goal in the final minute of the quarter-final against Argentina.
In 1986, Bergkamp transferred to Ajax U19 from Ajax U17. In 1986 he moved to AFC Ajax and made his professional senior debut on 14 December 1986 with a 2–0 win against Roda JC.
On 16 February 1993, Bergkamp was transferred to Internazionale in a £7.1 million deal. On 29 August 1993 he debuted in a 2–1 victory against Reggina at the San Siro.
On June 1995 he was transferred to Arsenal in a £2.5 million million deal. He provided his first goal for the club on 23 September 1995 against Southampton. In his first season he made 33 appearances and 11 goals.
On 22 July 2006, a testimonial was played in his honour at the Emirates Stadium as Arsenal played his old club Ajax.
on 22 August 2004, in a home match against Middlesbrough Bergkamp acted as captain in place of the injured Vieira in which his team Arsenal won 5–3.
In 1998, Bergkamp surpassed Faas Wilkes's record to become the country's top goalscorer of all time while playin for the Netherlands National team.
His transfer fee for the transfer to Arsenal set record at £2.5 million. In the 1997-98 season he became top-scorer for the Arsenal club in the 1997-98 with a strike rate of 0.57.
In 2000, he retired from the national squad and in 2006 from the club.