Saturday, August 6, 2011

Ruud Van

Ruud van Nistelrooy - The perfect striker
Rutgerus Johannes Martinus van Nistelrooy, (Dutch pronunciation: ( listen); born 1 July 1976), better known as Ruud van Nistelrooy, is a Dutch footballer who plays as a striker for Málaga CF in Spain's La Liga. He is the second-highest goalscorer in Champions League history with 60 goals. He is a three-time Champions League top scorer, as well as a top scorer in three different European domestic leagues.
Van Nistelrooy began his career with Den Bosch, before moving onto Heerenveen, eventually making a name for himself at PSV Eindhoven where he won two Dutch leagues. His goalscoring record at PSV attracted attention from Manchester United; a deal was in place in the summer of 2000, but because of injury problems his move was secured a year later for a then British record fee of £19 million. His time at United was successful, winning the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and FA Community Shield, along with winning the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year twice. Van Nistelrooy hit 150 goals in just 219 games for United, as well as being their all time European record goalscorer, but fell out of favour towards the end of his tenure. Real Madrid then secured his services in 2006. Although an injury blighted the end of his days with Madrid, he did win La Liga twice and the Supercopa de España before signing for Hamburg during the January transfer window in 2010. After a successful season-and-a-half with Hamburg, he moved back to Spain with Málaga CF in the summer of 2011.
Born in Oss, North Brabant, van Nistelrooy started his professional career in 1993 with Dutch second division side Den Bosch, where he was converted from a central defender to centre forward after playing part-time for Nooit Gedacht and Margriet. After netting 12 goals in 31 games in the 1996–97 campaign, he transferred for €360,000 to Heerenveen the next year, and scored 13 goals in 31 matches in his only season with the club. He was then signed by PSV Eindhoven the next season for €6.3 million, a then-record transfer sum between two Dutch teams.
He scored 31 goals in 34 matches, the highest season total in the Eredivisie and second-highest in Europe overall, in addition to scoring all three of PSV's goals in a Champions League match against HJK Helsinki on 25 November 1998. Van Nistelrooy capped off the year by winning the Dutch Player of the Year award. The next season, he won his second Eredivisie scoring title with 29 goals. According to a 2001 interview with The Telegraph, Manchester United coach Alex Ferguson said that his son Darren, who was at tryouts for Eredivisie rival Heerenveen at the time, begged his father, "You've got to sign Van Nistelrooy right away, he's fantastic. We've been watching him."Ferguson sent team representatives to PSV's next league game and signed Van Nistelrooy the next day.
Van Nistelrooy looked set to complete an £18.5 million transfer to Manchester United in the summer of 2000. A press conference had been called to confirm Van Nistelrooy's arrival, but instead this was used to announce that the transfer had been delayed over concerns about his fitness. Days later, he suffered ruptured cruciate knee ligaments during a training session and the deal was axed. When the transaction was completed in April 2001, United were forced to pay PSV an additional £500,000 for the player's services due to the change in exchange rates between Euro and Sterling.
Van Nistelrooy signed a five-year contract after passing his medical. He downplayed United's £19 million investment to reporters, saying "The price is not heavy for me – it lifts me up because it means United have big confidence in me." During his first season, Van Nistelrooy scored 23 goals in 32 league games. He broke the record he shared with Mark Stein, Alan Shearer and Thierry Henry, by scoring in eight consecutive league games. He also scored 10 Champions League goals, and was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year. The following season, he finished as the top Premier League scorer with 25 in 34 games, including three hat-tricks, and he ended the season on another eight-game scoring streak. He started the 2003–04 season by scoring twice in his first two league matches, which boosted his goals in consecutive games record to 10 matches in a row. He scored his 100th goal for the club in a 4–3 victory over Everton on 7 February 2004. He scored two goals, one a penalty, in United's victory over Millwall in the 2004 FA Cup Final.

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