Happy Birthday Marco Van Basten, Scorer Of The Greatest Volley Of All-Time

Marco van Basten turns 53 today, so let’s watch that volley against the Soviet Union again.

Happy birthday to legendary Dutch striker Marco van Basten, who turns 53 today. Van Basten was obviously born on Halloween, giving us a reasonable explanation for how frighteningly good he was, LOL! Seriously, he was really good.

Van Basten played extensively for Ajax in the 80s before moving to AC Milan in 1987. An ankle injury resulted in Van Basten spending two whole years on the sidelines before forcing his premature retirement from the game. However, at the top of his trade, the Utrecht-born forward was one of the most feared players in Europe and a three-time Ballon d’Or winner (1988, 1989, 1992).

Van Basten scored 24 goals in 58 international appearances for the Netherlands but not a one is more fondly remembered than the volley that secured the Oranje’s triumph at Euro 1988. Van Basten scored five goals in the competition — a hat-trick to dump England out in the group stage, the match-winner against West Germany in the semifinals and this picture-perfect volley against the Soviet Union in the final. 

In terms of pure technique, execution, audacity and significance, it really doesn’t get any better than this strike. Van Basten’s goals were also instrumental in helping Milan lift the European Cup in back-to-back seasons between 1988 and 1990.

After retiring, Van Basten spent time as manager of the Netherlands National Team, Ajax, Heerenveen and AZ Alkmaar. He’s currently employed as the FIFA Chief Officer for Technical Development, a role he’s come under fire in for some of his, shall we say, forward-thinking ideas.

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