Guillemette Zheng

Guillemette Zheng

Modified & Updated: 09 Sep 2023


Marco Van Basten is a legendary figure in the world of football. Born on October 31, 1964, in Utrecht, Netherlands, Van Basten is considered one of the greatest strikers of all time. His extraordinary skills, razor-sharp instincts, and lethal finishing ability made him a nightmare for defenders.Throughout his career, Van Basten achieved numerous accolades and set records that still stand today. From his breakthrough with Ajax in the 1980s to his illustrious tenure with AC Milan, Van Basten left an indelible mark on the game.In this article, we will delve into 13 fascinating facts about Marco Van Basten – from his remarkable goal-scoring prowess to his personal struggles and everything in between. So, lace up your boots as we take a deep dive into the captivating journey of one of football’s true icons.

Table of Contents

A Triple Ballon d’Or Winner

Marco Van Basten clinched the prestigious Ballon d’Or award not just once, but thrice in his career. He won this accolade in 1988, 1989, and 1992, solidifying his status as one of the best players of his generation.

The Dutch Maestro

Hailing from the Netherlands, Marco Van Basten made his mark on the international stage as a key member of the Dutch national team. He represented his country in three major tournaments, including the 1988 UEFA European Championship, where he played a pivotal role in securing the championship title for the Netherlands.

The Spectacular Volley

Van Basten’s goal in the 1988 UEFA European Championship final against the Soviet Union is considered one of the greatest goals in the history of football. The audacious volley, struck from an acute angle, left spectators in awe of his incredible technique and precision.

A Hat-Trick in the UEFA European Championship

In a memorable match against England during the 1988 UEFA European Championship, Van Basten displayed his prowess by scoring a remarkable hat-trick, leading his team to victory and further establishing himself as a formidable force in the world of football.

Resilience in the Face of Injury

Despite recurring injuries throughout his career, Marco Van Basten showcased remarkable resilience and determination. He underwent multiple surgeries and countless rehabilitation sessions to overcome his physical setbacks, proving his unwavering commitment to the game.

A Successful Stint with AC Milan

Van Basten enjoyed tremendous success during his time with AC Milan, winning numerous domestic and international titles. He was an integral part of the team that clinched three consecutive European Cup titles from 1989 to 1991.

A Prolific Goal Scorer

Scoring goals came naturally to Marco Van Basten. He possessed great positioning, clinical finishing, and an exquisite header. Throughout his career, he netted an impressive total of 300 goals in just 396 appearances.

The Iconic Bicycle Kick

In a match against FC Den Bosch in 1986, Van Basten executed a jaw-dropping bicycle kick, showcasing his acrobatic ability and extraordinary athleticism. This moment stands as a testament to his extraordinary talent and creativity on the pitch.

Coaching Career

After retiring from professional football due to persistent injury troubles, Van Basten embarked on a career in coaching. He managed various teams, including the Dutch national team, and left a significant impact through his tactical knowledge and guidance.

FIFA World Player of the Year

Marco Van Basten was named the FIFA World Player of the Year on two occasions, in 1988 and This prestigious award recognizes the best player in the world, and Van Basten’s exceptional performances earned him this esteemed honor.

A Brilliant Sports Analyst

In addition to his coaching endeavors, Van Basten has also made a name for himself as a knowledgeable and insightful sports analyst. His expert analysis and commentary provide valuable insights into the game and its tactical aspects.

Euro 2020 Legacy

As one of the ambassadors for Euro 2020, Van Basten continues to be involved in the world of football, promoting the sport and inspiring future generations of players to strive for excellence.

Van Basten’s Influence on Modern Football

Marco Van Basten’s playing style and techniques had a lasting impact on the game of football. His ability to score goals from impossible angles, his elegance on the field, and his overall finesse continue to inspire players worldwide.

Marco Van Basten’s legacy as a football legend remains intact, and his contributions to the sport will always be remembered. From his unforgettable goals to his exceptional skill set, he will forever be etched in football history as one of the all-time greats.


In conclusion, Marco Van Basten is undeniably one of the greatest football players of all time. His remarkable skill, agility, and goal-scoring prowess have left an indelible mark on the sport. From his successful career at AC Milan to his unforgettable performances for the Dutch national team, Van Basten’s influence on the game cannot be overstated.Throughout his career, Van Basten achieved numerous accolades, including three Ballon d’Or awards and a UEFA European Championship title with the Netherlands. Despite his retirements due to recurring injuries, his impact on the field continues to inspire aspiring football players around the world.Beyond his playing career, Van Basten has also made strides as a coach and football administrator, further cementing his legacy in the sport. With his passion for the game and his innate understanding of football, Van Basten has become an influential figure in shaping the future of the sport.In summary, Marco Van Basten’s unrivaled talent, determination, and love for the game have earned him a special place in football history. His contributions to the sport will forever be remembered and celebrated by fans and fellow athletes alike.


1. What are some of the major achievements of Marco Van Basten?

Marco Van Basten achieved numerous accolades during his career, including three Ballon d’Or awards and a UEFA European Championship title with the Netherlands.

2. Which clubs did Marco Van Basten play for?

Van Basten played for Ajax Amsterdam and AC Milan during his illustrious career.

3. Did Marco Van Basten suffer from injuries?

Yes, unfortunately, Van Basten’s career was hampered by recurring injuries, which eventually led to his early retirements.

4. Has Marco Van Basten been involved in football after retiring as a player?

Yes, Van Basten has served as a coach and football administrator, contributing to the development and growth of the sport.

5. How has Marco Van Basten influenced the game of football?

Van Basten’s remarkable skill, agility, and goal-scoring ability have inspired countless aspiring football players, leaving an indelible mark on the sport.

6. What is Marco Van Basten’s legacy?

Marco Van Basten’s legacy is defined by his exceptional talent, his achievements on the field, and his continued contribution to the sport as a coach and administrator.