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Author Archive for Bart Vlietstra

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Hakim Ziyech: a mesmerising talent who is not afraid to speak his mind

The Ajax winger who is joining Chelsea in the summer has criticised coaches and teammates in the past but also developed into a world-class player“I say what I think and that’s why I’m not the easiest guy for some coaches.” Many things can be said abou…

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From bedlam to the Bernabéu – how Ajax performed a miracle

Acrimony and underachievement have given way to stability and nous and taken the Netherlands’ most storied club to the verge of an unthinkable achievementDennis Bergkamp’s answer is short. No, he doesn’t want to talk about Ajax. Today the former Hollan…

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Mousa Dembélé – from stuttering striker to the complete midfielder | Bart Vlietstra

The Tottenham midfielder – part ballerina, part tank – can be hard to characterise but then he has always been one to make unorthodox decisionsNever mind that his name is a mystery. A player who, at the age of 30, is improving to the point where o…

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Ajax’s Justin Kluivert wants to be the best and not just famous for his dad

The 18-year-old son of the former Holland striker Patrick will face Manchester United in the Europa League final hoping to match his father’s feat of 1995

Justin Kluivert may have turned 18 only two weeks ago but, as the Ajax forward prepares to face Manchester United in Wednesday’s Europa League final, he is completely unfazed, both about the game and about having one of the most distinctive names in football. “Every advantage has his disadvantage and every disadvantage has his advantage,” he says when asked about the burden of being a Kluivert.

His father, Patrick, was one of the most prolific strikers between 1995 and 2004, coming up with the winner against Milan in the Champions League final for Ajax aged 18 and later shattering scoring records for Barcelona and Holland. “Being his son draws a lot of attention and expectation,” Justin Kluivert says. “It puts pressure on me but luckily I’m never nervous. Well … only when I took my second exam to get my driver’s licence. But never when I play football.”

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Ajax’s Justin Kluivert wants to be the best and not just famous for his dad

The 18-year-old son of the former Holland striker Patrick will face Manchester United in the Europa League final hoping to match his father’s feat of 1995

Justin Kluivert may have turned 18 only two weeks ago but, as the Ajax forward prepares to face Manchester United in Wednesday’s Europa League final, he is completely unfazed, both about the game and about having one of the most distinctive names in football. “Every advantage has his disadvantage and every disadvantage has his advantage,” he says when asked about the burden of being a Kluivert.

His father, Patrick, was one of the most prolific strikers between 1995 and 2004, coming up with the winner against Milan in the Champions League final for Ajax aged 18 and later shattering scoring records for Barcelona and Holland. “Being his son draws a lot of attention and expectation,” Justin Kluivert says. “It puts pressure on me but luckily I’m never nervous. Well … only when I took my second exam to get my driver’s licence. But never when I play football.”

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Tottenham’s Vincent Janssen and the desire to become the new Van Nistelrooy

The striker and his mother, who was a Dutch world champion swimmer, discuss his upbringing and the strong-willed attitude that has made him one of Europe’s most wanted players

Vincent Janssen was 21 when he became the Dutch Eredivisie’s leading scorer. At that age his mother, Annemarie, had quit as a top swimmer. Five years earlier, in 1982, she had become the sport’s first Dutch world champion, in the 200m freestyle, under her maiden name Verstappen. She was crowned sportswoman of the year.

In talking with Annemarie and Vincent, who on Tuesday joined Tottenham Hotspur from AZ, for the Dutch paper de Volkskrant a couple of months ago, it immediately became clear where their mentalities overlap and differ.

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Memphis Depay: a Tarzan with tattoos struts into Manchester United

Manchester United’s £25m signing has been called ‘totally crazy’ but no one in the Holland team or at PSV Eindhoven doubts the ability of the showman dubbed the Dutch Ronaldo
Manchester United seal early deal for Memphis Depay Continue reading…




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Graziano Pellè: an Italian romantic having a love affair at Southampton

A ballroom dancing champion in his youth, the Italy striker has swept all before him at St Mary’s after following the Saints manager, Ronald Koeman, from Feyenoord
• Late bloomer Pellè follows in Saints footsteps of Lambert Continue reading…



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Guus Hiddink sinking as Holland miss Louis van Gaals iron fist

Guus Hiddink was hoping for a successful swansong upon his return to the Dutch national team but his friendly uncle outlook is not what Holland require Robin van Persie backs Guus Hiddink after latest defeat Sigurdsson double gives Iceland victory over…

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The view from Holland: How Louis van Gaal has made the Dutch believe

The Manchester United-bound coach has made his nation, dismissed as no-hopers before the tournament, confident they can lose their bridesmaids tag and win the World Cup The view from ArgentinaHes a genius. A masterpiece. Our saviour. The miracle man. T…

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World Cup 2014: Holland the secrets behind the players

Which Dutch player is followed around by his parents? And which one likes starring in rap videos, when he’s injured Continue reading…

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World Cup 2014: Holland profile Bruno Martins Indi

The Feyenoord defender is so cheerful he even makes Louis van Gaal smile, but is ready for the serious business of Holland trying to go one step further than 2010 in Brazil Continue reading…