25 Şubat 2008 Pazartesi

Patrick Kluivert

Patrick Kluivert (born July 1, 1976 in Amsterdam)
is a Netherlands|Dutch international football
(soccer)|football striker who currently plays for
Valencia CF in la Liga.

Kluivert joined the renowned Ajax Amsterdam|Ajax
youth academy after he was spotted playing for
Schellingwoude, he went on to make his debut in
the senior team on August 21, 1994 at the age of
17 in the Dutch Supercup against win arch rivals
Feyenoord in which he scored his first goal. He
went on to make his mark in Europe scoring an 83rd
minute winner in the UEFA Champions
League|Champions League Final of 1994/95 against
AC Milan in Vienna. He also helped Ajax to win
several pieces of silverware (see below) before
leaving for AC Milan on a Bosman ruling|Bosman
transfer in 1997. His career at Milan started
well when he scored a sensational goal against
Juventus in a friendly match. However at this
time Kluivert's personal life began to cause
problems, he was charged with manslaughter after
running an art critic over in his new sports car,
to which he received community service and a
driving ban. He was also charged with rape on a
separate occasion but he was to be later
acquitted. After scoring only six goals in Serie
A|Italy he left for FC Barcelona where he was
reunited with Louis Van Gaal, a mentor from his
days at Ajax Amsterdam|Ajax. Kluivert formed a
strong partnership with Rivaldo which enabled
Barça to win the Spanish La Liga in 1998/99. He
was released from Barça in the Summer of 2004
along with fellow Netherlands national football
team|Dutch national teammates Michael Reiziger and
Marc Overmars. He joined Newcastle United
F.C.|Newcastle United on 21 July 2004 to team up
with Alan Shearer. However, after only one season
on Tyneside Kluivert was given a free transfer. He
decided to return to Spain to play for Valencia.
Reportedly, the club included a clause in his
contract that allowes for Kluivert to be sacked if
he is lacking in discipline off the pitch.

Kluivert's international career has perhaps not
gone as well as he would have liked; he missed
most of 1996 European Football Championship|Euro
96 with a knee injury but he did manage to score a
brilliant goal against England national football
team|England. At the Football World Cup 1998|1998
World Cup he was red card|sent off against Belgium
national football team|Belgium by referee
Pierluigi Collina after elbowing an opponent,
although he made amends when selected to play
against Argentina national football team|Argentina
in the quarter-finals of the same tournament where
he scored the opening goal. He also impressed in
later matches, although the Dutch national team
did not win the tournament which they were
predicted to do so. At Ec2|2000, after scoring a
hat trick in the quarterfinals, Kluivert missed a
penalty in the semifinal loss to Italy national
football team|Italy.

Kluivert is currently the all-time leading
goalscorer for the Dutch national team with 40 (as
of 2005). In 2004, he was named to the FIFA 100, a
list of the 125 greatest living footballers chosen
by Pelé as part of FIFA's centenary observances.
Interestingly, he was born on the same day as
fellow countryman and FIFA 100 member Ruud van
Nistelrooy. During Ec2|2004, Kluivert didn't play
a single minute, while his team reached the
semi-finals again.

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