The thought of a number 9 footballer in football tends to get lots of people attention on a potential goalscorer.
Here is why Marco Van Basten should be regarded as the greatest number 9 footballer ever.
People have argued time and again about who the best ever number 9 in football is. Some people say Puskas or Gerd Mueller, some people say Luis Suarez or Robert Lewandowki and most people say that it's Ronaldo 'O Fenomeno or R9. For me, it's Van Basten and in this article, I will explain why.
The number of player honours Van Basten won was 3 times Ballon d'Or.
Marco Van Basten won the UEFA Champions League top scorer award once.
Van Basten won the Golden Shoe once. Van Basten won the Eredivise top scorer four times.
Van Basten won the Serie A top scorer twice in the Scudetto. He was the top scorer and player of the tournament at Euro 1988.
Van Basten goalscoring statistics among clubs he played for:
1. 154 goals in 174 appearances for Ajax (0.88 goal per game).
2. 128 goals in 205 appearances for AC Milan (0.62 goal per game). At AC Milan, his last 2 to 3 seasons were married by injury.
3. 24 goals in 58 appearances for Netherlands national team.
He was a complete forward, he could drop deep and thread passes, run in behind the defence, act as a poacher in the penalty area and play with his back to the goal.
Van Basten also had a knack of scoring acrobatic goals. His height and strength allowed him to excel in the air, and his technical ability and agility saw him execute amazing strikes throughout his career, such as volleys and bicycle kicks.
Van Basten was also excellent at set-pieces; he converted 51 penalties out of the 54 he took, with a 94.44 percent success rate, the third highest in history.
Major trophies Van Basten won:
1. He won the Eredivisie trophy three times.
2. He won the Dutch Cup three times.
3. He won the Serie A title four times.
4. He won the UEFA Champions League three times.
5. He won the Euros once.
The most shocking part when you read about his career is that he only played until he was 28 years old. All these achievements and accolades and he had to retire at an age where most players hit their prime.
"Marco is the greatest striker I've ever trained." Fabio Capello stated.
"Right foot. Left foot. Heading, so strong, fast. He could score, he could pass the ball. He was the best. The way he played was timeless." Paolo Maldini stated.
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