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Patrick Kluivert


ABOUT
ABOUT

Patrick Stephan Kluivert is a retired dutch football player who was born on 1 July 1976 in Amsterdam, Netherlands.


Kluivert was a striker who mainly played as a centre-forward for clubs such as AFC Ajax and Barcelona. He had also served Netherlands national team for a decade.


Having Known for his versatility, pace and goal scoring ability, Kluivert won various awards in his career including a Golden boot at 2000 UEFA Euro. Legendary Brazilian football player, Pele had also included him in the FIFA 100, his choice of the "greatest living footballers".


Background


Kluivert father was a professional football player who inspired as well as trained him before getting him into an academy. In 1983, he joined Schellingwoude, a local academic club in Amsterdam. Later in 1984, he joined Ajax and stayed with the youth ranks of the club till 1994.


After getting promoted to the senior team, Kluivert made his debut on 21 August 1994, in a match of Dutch Supercup against Feyenoord. Making his debut, he scored his first goal and also won the match for his team. Afterwards, he finished 1994-95 Eredivisie as a top scorer with 18 goals in his name and played a vital role in the club's title win.


Debut


Kluivert's splendid performance with Ajax paid off very soon and he got his first international call up in November 1994. On 16 November, he made his international debut in a European qualifier game against Czech Republic substituting his team mate Youri Mulder.


Match had ended up on a goalless draw. In his very second game, Kluivert scored his first international goal helping his team to win over Malta by 4-0.


Rise to glory


Kluivert didn't take much time and established himself as a key player for Netherlands. He was up to the mark right after his debut and soon found a regular place in the squad. In December 1995, Netherlands had taken Ireland in a 1996 UEFA Euro qualifier.


In that match, Kluivert scored 2 back to back goals wrapping up the score on 2-0 and helping his team to qualify for the main tournament. Though, he could not play most of the tournament’s games but he had scored against England and Scotland in the knockout round.


During 1998 FIFA World Cup, Kluivert played a key role in the Netherlands’ journey to the semi-finals. In the semifinal against Brazil, he scored a equaliser in the last minutes, pushing the match to the penalty shootout. However, Netherlands had lost the match in the penalties. Overall, in the year of 1998, he scored 7 goals playing 11 games.


During UEFA Euro 2000, Kluivert was on his peak. After getting a stellar season, he also scored a hat-trick in a 6-1 win against Yugoslavia in the quarter-finals of the tournament. In the semifinals against Italy, Netherlands lost on penalties ruining fine performance of Kluivert once again. However, he had won the Golden boot jointly with Serbian player Savo Milošević. In the year of 2000, appearing in 14 international games, he had scored 12 goals.


Kluivert’s last days in the international football before retirement weren't that good as the veteran consistently remained under the influence of several injuries but he was the all-time leading goal scorer for Netherlands with 40 goals in 79 matches until Robin van Persie left him behind in 2013.


Club career


Apart from Ajax, Kluivert also played with several other prominent clubs such as Barcelona, Milan, Newcastle United, Valencia, PSV and Lille. With his very first club Ajax, he had played 100 games, scoring 52 times. With Ajax, he had also won 1994-95 UEFA Champions League, 1995 European Super Cup and 1995 Intercontinental Cup.


In 1998, he moved to Barcelona and there, Kluivert's career touched new heights. Playing as much as 258 matches for Barcelona, he got 123 goals in his name and also won 1998-99 La-Liga title.


Particularly in La-Liga, he has 91 goals in 192 games whereas in Premier League, he has got 6 goals in 25 games. Overall, he played 472 matches in various leagues across the globe netting the ball 205 times.


Retirement


On 1 July 2008, Kluivert officially announced his retirement from all kind of football and in the same year started his new journey as a coach of Dutch club AZ. Later, he managed as many as 7 teams including Netherlands national team and eminent club Paris Saint Germain. For most of the teams, he was an assistant coach.

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