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National Team General Information

International Caps: 58
International Goals: 24
Debut: 07.09.1983, against Iceland (3:0), Groningen
Last Match: 14.10.1992 against Poland (2:2), Rotterdam
First Goal: 21.09.1983 against Belgium (1:1), Brussels

Bio Note on the National Team career:

Marco van Basten was born on the 31 October 1964 in the Dutch city of Utrecht, where he started his football career at the age of seven. Marco's first club was a local team, UVV. After spending there ten years, he then moved to an other club from Utrecht, Elinkwijk. However, his professional career began in 1981, when seventeen-year-old Marco was spotted by Ajax's scouts. Being aware of great prospects lying ahead, Van Basten agreed to join the famous football club from Amsterdam. Marco's great potential was immediately recognised by Ajax coaches and physiologists. As for a great striker, in his debut (April 3, 1982) Van Basten scored a goal. What's more, in that match he substituted the famous Dutch footballer - Cruyff.

During the next season Marco placed the ball in the net nine times. However, the most important event in 1983 was his debut in the Dutch national team, on the 7th of September, in a match against Iceland. Van Basten scored his first goal for Oranjes only three weeks later, in a very prestigious match against the immemorial opponents, Belgium. [...]

However, the best was still to come. Having skipped most of the season matches, Van Basten was only a substitute in Holland's squad for the Euro 1988 held in West Germany. In the first match Oranje team played a rather poor football which resulted in a defeat to USSR team. Dutch coach, Rinus Michels decided to shift Marco to the starting eleven for the next group match against the English and with this decision he hit the bull's eye! The Swan of Utrecht played one of the best matches in his career, scoring a hattrick and sending England back home. And that was just the beginning of the one-man show! In the semi-final match against the host Germans Marco scored an incredible goal, literally sliding the ball into the net. That was the 88th minute of the match and thanks to that strike Holland made it through to the final of the Euro where they met USSR again. Contrary to the group match, this time Oranjes showed great football and surpassed their opponents. The duel ended with the 2:0 result and one of the most outstanding goals in the history of football. In 54th minute of the game Marco struck a looping volley at an incredible angle and beat the Russian goalie.The strike is still considered the most beautiful goal ever scored in the final of any football competition! With 5 goals on his account, Van Basten became not only the top scorer of the Euro '88, but was also named the best player of the competition.

Van Basten returned to Milan as an even greater star that he had been before the European Championship. In the autumn of 1988 he won the two most prestigious awards, France Football's Ballon d'Or (Golden Ball) and World Soccer's World Player of the Year title.[...]

Moreover, at the end of 1992 Marco was granted the Golden Ball award for the third time in his career and was also named the World Player of the Year by both, FIFA and World Soccer magazine! Scoring 12 goals in only three months meant another great season, full of trophies and individual achievements. It all ended suddenly and unexpectedly...

The ankle injury that was his nightmare a few years ago reappered, only this time it was to beat Marco and end his wonderful career. Being operated for the fourth time in 1993 Van Basten had the feeling it was the farewell that time. Although he appeared in the Champions League final against Olympique Marseille he did not resemble the great footballer he used to be. Milan was defeated 1:0 but what is worse lost one of the greatest players of the world. Marco tried fighting the injury another two years but eventually was forced to end his career on 18 August 1995, during a Trofeo Berlusconi match. Over 70 000 supporters, including crying Capello, gave him a standing ovation while Van Basten was doing his lap of honour.

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