Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Ruud van Nistelrooy
Ruud van Nistelrooy (full name Rutgerus Johannes Martinus van Nistelrooij, see letter IJ; born July 1, 1976 in Oss, North Brabant, Netherlands) is a Dutch football player currently playing for Manchester United. He wears the number 10 for both the Netherlands and Manchester United.
Van Nistelrooy started as a midfielder for Dutch second division club-side, FC Den Bosch, but he was converted into a centre forward at SC Heerenveen in 1997. His coach advised him to learn from Dennis Bergkamp at Ajax Amsterdam, and van Nistelrooy would drive for miles to watch his older compatriot play in person. In 1998, on his 22nd birthday, he was signed by PSV Eindhoven for £4.2 million, a transfer record between two Dutch clubs.
Van Nistelrooy repaid the faith by scoring 31 goals in 34 matches in his first season at PSV and being voted Dutch Player of the Year by his fellow professionals. In his second season, he notched up another 29 goals.
Manchester United had tried to buy van Nistelrooy, commonly abbreviated as RVN, in 2000, but he had a serious knee injury in training which saw him forego the 2000 European championships. Van Nistelrooy was finally signed in April 2001 for £19 million, a year after severely damaging his knee cruciate ligament.
During his first season at Manchester United, Ruud played in 32 games and netted 23 goals and scored in a record eight consecutive FA Premier League games. He scored 10 UEFA Champions League goals and was named the PFA Players' Player of the Year.
During the following year, the 2002-2003 season, Ruud scored 25 Premier League goals and 14 goals in European competition while leading Manchester United to the Premier League title. He also broke the record for scoring goals in European competitions for Manchester United in this season.
Ruud is a natural striker with phenomenal finishing . He is also a regular penalty taker, and has exceptional agility and balance for his height (1.88 m/6'2"), which is often credited to his previous training in gymnastics. He scores very frequently for Manchester United.
Van Nistelrooy was selected to play for Netherlands at Euro 2004. Prior to the team's opening match against Germany, van Nistelrooy stoked up his country's already intense rivalry with the Germans by saying that emotions would be intensified by lingering bitterness over World War II. His comments were severely criticised by the German media. During the match, he scored an acrobatic volley, one of the goals of the tournament, to silence his critics and single handedly take Holland to the next round. He shared the goal-scoring lead in the group phase with England teenage sensation Wayne Rooney, who he plays alongside at Manchester United, and was one of only two players in the tournament to score goals in all three of their team's group matches (the other was Czech Milan Baroš).
Ruud started off the 2004-2005 season in spectacular fashion, he scored twice in his first two league games. He also managed to score his 100th and 101st goals for the club against Everton at Goodison Park on 7 February 2004, as United earned a 4-3 Premiership victory.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details