Marco van Basten – Signed Photo – Soccer (Milan)
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Foto con autografo di Marco van Basten.
Dimension: 20 Cm x 25 Cm (Appr.) – 8×10 Inches (Appr.)
This is not a vintage photo or old one. This photo is new, printed and signed in recent years and the signature is original.
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Marco van Basten was born on 31 October 1964 in Utrecht and grew up in the Oog In Al neighborhood. He began playing for a local team, EDO, when he was six years old. A year later, he moved to UVV Utrecht. After nine years there, he briefly played for another club from Utrecht, Elinkwijk.
Ajax signed 16-year-old Marco for the 1981–82 season after his 19-year-old brother Stanley was rejected. Their father Joop had kept the younger son at another club with the hope that Ajax will take Stanley in professionally He played his first match for Ajax on 3 April 1982, coming on as a substitute for Johan Cruyff, and scoring a debut goal in the team’s 5–0 victory over NEC. In the 1982–83 season, he competed with the European top scorer and first choice Holland international Wim Kieft for the position of centre forward, and scored nine goals in 20 league matches. Ajax chose to sell Kieft to Italian Serie A club Pisa the following season, and 18 year old Van Basten solidified his position as his team’s main attacker similarly in the national team. He was the top scorer in the league for four consecutive seasons, from 1983–84 to 1986–87, scoring 118 goals in 112 matches. In the 1985–86 season, he scored 37 goals in 26 league matches, including six goals against Sparta Rotterdam and five against Heracles Almelo, and won the European Golden Boot. He also scored the winning goal in the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup final against Lokomotive Leipzig in 1987. In total he scored 128 goals in 133 league matches for Ajax. On November 1986 he scored his most famous goal in an Ajax jersey, a spectacular overhead kick against FC Den Bosch.
In 1987, A.C. Milan president Silvio Berlusconi signed Van Basten, with fellow countrymen Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard joining the club in 1988. In his first season, Milan won their first Scudetto in eight years, but Van Basten played only 11 matches and was constantly troubled by an ankle injury. In 1988–89, Van Basten won the Ballon d’Or as Europe’s top footballer. He scored 19 goals in Serie A and 32 goals in all competitions that year, including two goals in the final of the European Cup, as Milan triumphed against Steaua București. In 1989–90, he became Capocannoniere again (Serie A’s leading goal scorer); Milan also successfully defended the European Cup after beating Benfica 1–0 in the final match, during which Van Basten provided the assist for Rijkaard’s match-winning goal. Milan struggled in the 1990–91 season, as Sampdoria won the Scudetto. After Van Basten fell out with Arrigo Sacchi, Berlusconi sacked the manager. Fabio Capello took over the following season, and Milan went undefeated in the league to win another Scudetto. Van Basten scored 25 league goals, and became Capocannoniere again; his tally from the 1991–92 season was the highest number of goals that a player had scored in a single Serie A season since Luís Vinício achieved the same tally during the 1965–66 season. In November 1992, he became the first player to score four goals in a Champions League match, against IFK Göteborg, including a picture perfect bicycle kick. In December 1992, Van Basten was named FIFA World Player of the Year. Milan stretched their unbeaten run into the 1992–93 season, going 58 matches over two seasons before they lost a match. Van Basten was exceptional in the early part of the season. He was again voted the European player of the year, becoming the third player after Johan Cruyff and Michel Platini to win the award three times. His troublesome ankle injury recurred in a game against Ancona, forcing him to endure another six-month layoff, and undergo a series of surgeries. He returned for the last few matches in the season, before Milan lost 1–0 to Marseille in the Champions League final. The match was Van Basten’s final match for the Italian club. He came off in the 86th minute for Stefano Eranio, after a hard tackle behind from Basile Boli condemned Van Basten to the third ankle surgery of his career. Van Basten had been hopeful of playing for his country at the 1994 World Cup as well as for his club in the 1994–95 season after spending the whole 1993–94 season out of action (missing Milan’s victory in the European Cup as well as their Serie A title glory), but his club ordered him not to take part in the World Cup amid fear of ruining his rehabilitation. He finally conceded defeat in his battle to recover on 17 August 1995, when he announced his retirement as a player after two whole years on sidelines. Van Basten made a farewell appearance to thank the Milan fans before a home game at the San Siro, with an emotional Milan coach Fabio Capello breaking down in tears.
Van Basten’s talent was already noticed at a young age and he was called up for the 1983 FIFA World Youth Championship. He made his senior debut for the Netherlands national team that same year. His team-mates in the national team were all teenagers themselves Ruud Gullit, Gerald Vanenburg, Ronald Koeman and Frank Rijkaard as Holland was desperate to reclaim the success of the Cruyff generation in the 1970’s. At UEFA Euro 1988, Van Basten played a pivotal role in the Dutch team’s victorious campaign. He scored a total of five goals, including a hat trick against England in the first round, the winning goal in the semi-final against West Germany, and a spectacular volley from an acute angle in the 2–0 final against the Soviet Union, during which he also provided the assist for Gullit’s opening goal. He finished the competition as the top scorer and was named player of the tournament. In a 2002 UK poll Van Basten’s volley against the Soviet Union was ranked #21 in the list of the 100 Greatest Sporting Moments. The Dutch national team exited the 1990 World Cup early, losing to West Germany in the second round. Van Basten never scored in the World Cup finals. At UEFA Euro 1992, the Netherlands defeated reigning World Champions Germany 3–1 in the first round to top their group and reach the semi-finals, where they shockingly lost to the eventual champions Denmark in a penalty shootout, with Peter Schmeichel saving a penalty shot from Van Basten. Van Basten was named to the European Championship Player Of The Tournament for a second time in 1992.
Van Basten played in the Demetrio Albertini testimonial match at the San Siro in March 2006, and headed in a goal before being substituted early in the first half. On 22 July 2006, he also returned for the testimonial match to celebrate the 11-year Arsenal career of Dennis Bergkamp, in what was the first match played at the new Emirates Stadium. He played in the second half for the Ajax legends team. He entered the match as part of a double substitution that also introduced Johan Cruyff. He took part in Tyskie’s (a Polish beer company) advertising campaign with Luís Figo and Zbigniew Boniek.
Style of play
Regarded as one of the greatest and most complete strikers and players in the history of the sport, due to his prolific goalscoring and great skill set, Van Basten was dubbed the “Swan Of Utrecht” for his elegance and intelligent attacking play, and was known for his penchant for scoring acrobatic goals. His height and strength allowed him to excel in the air, and his technical ability and agility saw him execute spectacular strikes throughout his career, such as volleys and bicycle kicks. A fast and opportunistic striker with quick reactions and excellent movement, he often took advantage of loose balls in the penalty area due to his ability to anticipate defenders, and was capable of both controlling fast and difficult balls well with one touch, or even shooting first time. Possessing a powerful and accurate shot, and clinical, varied finishing from anywhere along the pitch, he was capable of scoring goals with either foot from inside or outside the penalty area, as well as with his head; he was also an accurate penalty kick and free-kick taker. Throughout his career, Van Basten converted 51 penalties out of the 54 he took, with a 94.44% success rate, the third highest in history, behind only Matthew Le Tissier and Cuauhtémoc Blanco. Before taking penalties, Van Basten often used to perform a characteristic hop. Although he was mainly known as a traditional attacker who operated in the penalty area as a centre-forward throughout his career, Van Basten also possessed excellent vision and distribution, in addition to his goalscoring ability, which enabled him to play in deeper, more creative positions, as a second striker, for example, and which allowed him to participate in the build-up of attacking plays and provide assists to his teammates in addition to scoring goals himself; one of his most notable assists was the one he provided to Frank Rijkaard for Milan’s winning goal in the 1990 European Cup final against Benfica. Despite his large stature, Van Basten possessed excellent technical skills and ball control, as well as good balance and a notable elegance on the ball, which inspired his nickname. As such, his strong physique, combined with his close control, also enabled him to hold up the ball for teammates when playing with his back to goal. Despite his ability, Van Basten’s career was severely affected by many grave injuries, which eventually forced him to retire from football prematurely at the age of 28. Lack of protection from referees and inadequate football rules against rugged defending and tackles from behind were identified as the source of the injuries which ultimately led to his career’s demise; consequently, Van Basten’s early retirement due to his injuries led to widespread debate in the football world over whether rash challenges from behind should be rendered illegal in football, in order to protect talented players more effectively. During the 1994 World Cup, an automatic red was also shown for tackles from behind or with studs showing. In 1998, prior to the World Cup that year, FIFA completely outlawed the tackle from behind; this ruling came to be known colloquially as the “Van Basten law” in the media. Although Van Basten was known for often being on the receiving end of hard challenges from his opponents throughout his career, former referee Daniele Tombolini described Van Basten as a player who was known for his physical play himself, and who utilised his strength and committed a lot of fouls during matches.
Considered by pundits to be one of the greatest and most complete players of all time, in 1998, Van Basten was ranked sixth in the FIFA Player of the Century internet poll, tenth in the European player of the Century election held by the IFFHS, and 12th in the IFFHS’ World Player of the Century election. He was also ranked eighth in a poll to determine France Football ‘s “Football Player of the Century.” In 1999, Van Basten was named the ninth greatest player of the twentieth Century by World Soccer magazine. In 2004, he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100, his list of the world’s 125 greatest living players, and also placed fourth in the UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll, celebrating the best European footballers of the past fifty years. He was also ranked 25th in a poll for the 100 greatest Dutch people. In 2007, Sky Sports ranked Van Basten first on its list of great athletes who had their careers cut short. In 2016 Van Basten was included in UEFA’s All-time Euro XI, while in 2017, he was named the 13th greatest player of all time by FourFourTwo. Numerous players, managers, and other footballing figures have also lauded Van Basten as one of the greatest players of all time. In 1994, defender Pietro Vierchowod described Van Basten as “the absolute number one” and as a “superstar,” also adding that “he is strong with his head, good with either foot, capable of changing the face of a game with a single play or, [even] when he is not at his best, of becoming the best assist-provider for his teammates.” Former defender Jürgen Kohler, who often faced Van Basten throughout his career, described him as “a player with exceptional abilities. He was a big personality not only as a sportsman, but also as a private person. I benefited from him. It is as simple as this. He was a big milestone in my career and for me he is one of the players who are the most outstanding personalities of the last century. Not only in sports, also as a human being.” When asked of their duels, he commented: “the duels between us were simply tough with everything football offers. He stood and I delivered and then I stood and he delivered.” Former Arsenal player Tony Adams described Van Basten as the toughest and most difficult opponent he had ever faced in 2006, stating: “He’s the quickest 6 ft 3 in centre-forward I’ve ever seen! Just awesome. He was as quick as Ian Wright, as good in the air as Joe Jordan and he held the ball up better than Alan Smith. I put him in front of Maradona. Technically, Maradona was brilliant and he had amazing feet, but Van Basten could head, volley – he had power and strength.” Fellow former defender Giuseppe Bergomi also described Van Basten as the strongest player he ever faced in 2018, commenting: “The best player of all time for me […] is Maradona, but the strongest player I ever faced was Van Basten because at least I could beat Maradona to the ball with my head.” In 2017, two of Van Basten’s former Milan teammates, Demetrio Albertini and Marco Simone, labelled the Dutchman as the best player they had ever played with, with the former stating, “The best player I have ever played with is Van Basten, the best overall. He had elegance and strength. He stopped playing at only 28 years of age, which is truly young.” That same year, another one of his fellow former Milan teammates, Paolo Maldini, labelled Van Basten as the most complete player with whom he had ever played. Another former Milan teammate of Van Basten, Giovanni Cornacchini, described the Dutch striker as the greatest player of all time in 2019. Former Milan Vice-Chairman and CEO Adriano Galliani instead described Van Basten as Milan’s greatest player ever in 2018. In 2017, Roberto Baggio named Van Basten as the player with whom he would have most liked to have played, commenting: “I’d have liked to play with him. He’s the player that I exchanged shirts with most willingly.” In 2019, Van Basten’s former Milan coach Fabio Capello described Van Basten and Ronaldo as the best players he ever coached. His predecessor at Milan, Arrigo Sacchi, described Van Basten as the best striker of all time in 2014, commenting: “Marco van Basten remains for me the best striker of all time. No other forward has worked as hard for the team as Marco did at Milan. I above all remember him for his elegance, his grace and his incredible quality.” When Hernán Crespo was asked in 2015 who was the greatest centre-forward of all time, he echoed Sacchi’s views, responding: “Marco van Basten. He did everything: dribbling, shooting, headers, acrobatics. And he played with his team and for his team.” In 2019, Antonio Cassano described Van Basten and Ronaldo as the best forwards in the history of the game.