Any list of the greatest footballers of all-time worth its salt has to include the Dutchman, who was a major force on the field during his brief, but spectacular career.
The former forward, who played for Ajax, AC Milan and the Netherlands national team, was known for his goalscoring ability – finding the back of the net 300 times.
Turning 52 today, he earned the Ballon d’Or three times, in 1988, 1989 and 1992, and was also named the FIFA World Player of the Year in 1992.
Representing the Netherlands, Van Basten won the Euro 88 title and was named the player of the tournament for his five goals, including his famous volley against the Soviet Union in the final.
He played his final game at the young age of 28 due to an injury, but went on to patrol the touchline as a coach for Ajax and the Dutch national team.
More sport star birthdays on this day:
1951: Nick Saban, American football coach for the University of Alabama with five national championships (65).
1961: Doc Rivers, American basketball coach for the NBA’s Los Angeles Clippers and former Coach of the Year (56).
1963: Dunga, Brazil World Cup winner and former coach of the national team (53).
1965: Denis Irwin, the joint most successful Irish footballer in history and former Man United player (51).
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