Monday, January 27, 2014
Patrick Kluivert and Ruud van Nistelrooy
Patrick Kluivert and Ruud van Nistelrooy were born on the same day. Their careers were very different. Kluivert earned his cap as a 18 years old. He became the Golden Boy of Dutch football when he scored the winning goal for Ajax at the 1995 Champions' League Final at the age of 18. He moved to Milan two years later and then, Barcelona in 1998. However, his career started to fade away quickly. He left Barcelona in 2004. Meanwhile, Ruud van Nistelrooy was a late bloomer. He started his career at the lower division and worked his way up. In the modern world, it is getting rare for anyone who was not discovered at a younger age. He never played for any Dutch youth national team. He joined PSV in 1998 Katy the age of 22, which was not too old. But by then, Kluivert was among the top striker in the world. He started to become well-known in Europe, but a dream move to Manchester United was delayed for a year due to his knee problems. Van Nistelrooy did not play in a big tournament until Euro 2004. Coincidentally, it was the same summer that Kluivert left Barcelona for Newcastle United. One player's career went up and the other went downward.
Please also see my All-Time World Cup Team Index.