Rutgerus Johannes Martinus "Ruud" van Nistelrooij
(commonly spelled as van Nistelrooy
; born 1 July 1976
in Oss, North Brabant) is a Dutch footballer who plays as a
striker for Spanish La Liga club Real Madrid. He is
currently the second-highest goalscorer in Champions League
history with sixty goals. He is a three-time Champions
League top scorer, as well as a top scorer in three
different European domestic leagues.
Van Nistelrooy started his professional career in 1993
with Dutch second division side FC Den Bosch, where he was
converted from a central defender to centre forward after
playing part-time for Nooit Gedacht and Magriet. After
netting twelve goals in 31 games in the 1996–97 campaign, he
transferred for €350,000 to SC Heerenveen the next year, and
scored thirteen goals in 31 matches in his only season with
the club. He was then signed by PSV Eindhoven the next
season for €6.3 million, a then-record transfer sum between
two Dutch teams.
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He scored 31 goals in 34 matches, the highest season
total in the Eredivisie and second-highest in Europe
overall, in addition to scoring all three of PSV's goals in
a Champions League match against HJK Helsinki on 25 November
1998. Van Nistelrooy capped off the year by winning the
Dutch Player of the Year award. The next season, he won his
second Eredivisie scoring title with 29 goals. According to
a 2001 interview with The Telegraph, Manchester
United coach Alex Ferguson said that his son, Darren, who
was at tryouts for Eredivisie rival SC Heerenveen at the
time, begged his father, "You've got to sign Van
Nistelrooy right away, he's fantastic. We've been watching
Ferguson sent team representatives to PSV's next league
game, and signed Van Nistelrooy the next day.
Just as an £18.5 million transfer to Manchester United in
the summer of 2000 was finalised and a press conference was
arranged to announce Van Nistelrooy's arrival, he suffered
ruptured cruciate knee ligaments during a training session
and the deal was axed.
When the transaction was completed in April 2001, United
were forced to pay PSV an additional £500,000 for the
Van Nistelrooy signed a five-year contract after passing
He downplayed United's £19 million investment to reporters,
saying, "The price is not heavy for me - it lifts me up
because it means United have big confidence in me."
During his first season, Van Nistelrooy scored 23 goals in
32 league games, ending the year on a league record
eight-game consecutive scoring streak. He also scored ten
Champions League goals, and was named the PFA Players'
Player of the Year.
In the 2002–03 season, Van Nistelrooy scored a team
record 44 goals in 52 European and domestic matches,
including twelve Champions League goals in ten games. He
finished as the top Premier League scorer with 25 in 34
games, including three hat-tricks, and he ended the season
on another eight-game scoring streak.
He started the 2003–04 season by scoring twice in his first
two league matches, which boosted his consecutive games
record to ten. He scored his hundredth goal for the club in
a 4–3 victory over Everton on 7 February 2004. He scored two
goals, one a penalty, in United's victory over Millwall in
the 2004 FA Cup Final.
Van Nistelrooy missed most of the 2004–05 season due to
injury, but nonetheless scored a Champions League-best eight
goals. One of them was his thirtieth career European goal,
which he scored in a 2–2 CL group stage draw with Lyon on 16
September 2004, overtaking Denis Law's previous club record
of 28 goals. Law later said to reporters, "I'm delighted
for Ruud. It could not happen to a nicer guy."
Manchester United were eliminated by eventual finalists
Milan in the knockout stage after going scoreless in both
At the start of the 2005–06 season, Van Nistelrooy scored
in United's first four Premier League games. He finished as
the second-highest league scorer with 21 goals, behind
Arsenal's Thierry Henry. By the end of his fifth season with
United, Van Nistelrooy had amassed 150 goals in fewer than
Van Nistelrooy was benched for the League Cup final
against Wigan Athletic, fuelling speculation of a rift
between him and coach Alex Ferguson, which Van Nistelrooy
denied. He was nonetheless left on the bench for six
consecutive league matches, and though he then returned to
the starting line-up and scored match-winners against West
Ham United and Bolton Wanderers, fresh doubt spread over Van
Nistelrooy's future when he was benched for United's season
finale win over Charlton Athletic. Ferguson claimed that Van
Nistelrooy was angry at the decision and left the stadium
three hours before kick-off.
On 9 May 2006, Setanta Sports reported that Van
Nistelrooy's exclusion from the squad was due to a training
session fight between him and teammate Cristiano Ronaldo.
Van Nistelrooy allegedly criticised Ronaldo's tendency to
hold onto the ball instead of passing to his team-mates,
which sparked the fight, after which Van Nistelrooy
remarked, "Go crying to your daddy." The article
claimed that this was not a reference to Ronaldo's father
(who had died earlier in the season), but to United's
Portuguese assistant coach, Carlos Queiroz.
Van Nistelrooy signed with Spanish side Real Madrid on 28
July 2006, departing Manchester United after five seasons
with a total of 150 goals in 220 appearances, as well as the
club's all-time European scoring record with 38 goals.
On 15 July 2006, Ferguson confirmed that van Nistelrooy
wanted to leave Manchester United and Real Madrid announced
two weeks later that he had signed a three-year contract
after being purchased for €24 million.
Van Nistelrooy scored a hat-trick in his second league match
against Levante and, on 12 November 2006, he scored all four
of Real Madrid's goals in a 4–1 victory over Osasuna. He won
the league's Pichichi award with 25 goals as Real Madrid
took home the 2006–07 title, and he also equalled the
longest consecutive scoring streak in La Liga history with
seven straight matches, tying a league record shared by Hugo
In January 2008, van Nistelrooy signed a contract extension
keeping him with Madrid until 2010, with the expiration date
one day shy of his 34th birthday. He underwent ankle
surgery in March, and returned for the El Clásico derby
against Barcelona on 7 May, in which he netted a penalty two
minutes after coming on as a substitute. He finished the
season with 20 goals in 33 appearances.
In November 2008, Real Madrid announced that van Nistelrooy
would miss the remainder of the 2008–09 season after
exploratory arthroscopic surgery revealed a partially torn
meniscus in his right knee, with an expected recovery time
of six to nine months following a second operation to repair
the damage. Van Nistelrooy travelled to the United
States to see specialist Richard Steadman, who had
previously operated on the same knee back in 2000. At the
time of his injury, he had 10 goals in 12 club appearances
for the season. Following the injury, he was
de-registered by Real Madrid for the rest of the 2008–09
season, and his shirt number was given to Dani Parejo. On 24
August 2009, in the last preseason game before the start of
La Liga, van Nistelrooy stepped on the pitch for the first
time since his injury and played the last fifteen minutes of
the game against Rosenborg, substituting Kaká. Van
Nistelrooy came on for Cristiano Ronaldo in the 80th minute
against Xerez in his first La Liga match since recovering
from his injury. In the 81st minute, he provided the assist
for a Benzema goal, following it with his own 88th minute
goal. However, during his strike, he picked up a thigh
injury. It was revealed by Real Madrid that he would be out
from first team action for up to six weeks. On 27
October, van Nistelrooy made his second comeback of the
season coming on as a substitute for Raúl in the 71st minute
against Alcorcon in the Copa del Rey.
On 23 January 2010, van Nistelrooy signed an 18-month
contract with Hamburg with the German club until June
2011. He made his first appearance for the club,
coming off the bench in the last two minutes of Hamburg's
3–3 draw with Cologne on 6 February. Van Nistelrooy
scored his first two goals for Hamburg on 13 February 2010
against Stuttgart in the 75th and 77th minutes of a 3–1 win,
after entering the game just a few minutes prior. On 11
March 2010, van Nistelrooy scored his first Europa League
goal in the 40th minute of Hamburg's match against
On 15 August 2010, van Nistelrooy scored his first
competitive hat-trick with Hamburg, in a 5–1 win over
Torgelower SV Greif during round 1 of the 68th season of the
DFB-Pokal. On 21 August 2010, he scored a brace in the
season opener against Schalke 04, which Hamburg won 2–1.
During that match he played against his friend and former
team-mate Raúl, who made his Bundesliga debut.
On 1 June, 2011, van Nistelrooy arrived to Málaga to sign a
one-year contract with the La Liga club on a free
transfer. In an interview with the Spanish sports daily Marca, van Nistelrooy said of the move that "Throughout my
career I have been with many clubs and have shared a
dressing room with world-class players, I feel very proud
and happy to be here."
Van Nistelrooy has 64 caps and 33 goals for the
Netherlands. His first tournament was Euro 2004, where he
and the Czech Republic's Milan Baroš were the only players
to score in all three group stage matches.
As the Dutch failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup,
van Nistelrooy had to wait 4 years to play in his first and
last World Cup. He was a part of coach Marco van Basten's
squad for the 2006 World Cup finals, for which he served as
the official FIFA/SOS ambassador.
He started, and was substituted, in all of the Netherlands'
group stage matches, and scored his lone goal against the
Ivory Coast. Van Nistelrooy was benched for the Netherlands'
final match, which saw them eliminated in the knockout stage
Van Basten left the striker off the squad for a friendly
against the Republic of Ireland on 16 August 2006.
Dirk Kuyt replaced Van Nistelrooy in their next match
against Portugal in September.
After Klaas-Jan Huntelaar was unavailable for Euro 2008
qualifiers against Bulgaria and Belarus due to injury, van
Nistelrooy refused Van Basten's request to take his place on
On 23 January 2007, Van Nistelrooy announced his
retirement from international football following some
disputes with coach Marco van Basten.
However, after several phone conversations and at the
persuasion of veteran Edwin van der Sar, both player and
coach put aside their differences. Van Basten announced four
months later that Van Nistelrooy was returning to the
On 8 September, Van Nistelrooy filled Huntelaar's spot, as
previously requested, for the qualifier against Bulgaria,
scoring in a 2–0 victory,
and scored the winning goal four days later in injury time
of the Netherlands' win over Albania.
At Euro 2008, Van Nistelrooy scored for the Netherlands
in their decisive 3–0 victory over Italy in the group stage,
and scored the equaliser in their eventual 3–1 loss to
Russia in the quarter-finals. On 4 August, he again
announced his retirement from international competition.
Van Nistelrooy married his girlfriend, Leontien Slaats,
in July 2004. The couple had their first child, a girl named
Moa Annette, in September 2006, and a son, Liam, in March
- Eredivisie: 1999–2000, 2000–01
- Johan Cruijff-schaal: 1999, 2000
- Premier League: 2002–03
- FA Cup: 2003–04
- Football League Cup: 2005–06
- FA Community Shield: 2003
- La Liga: 2006–07, 2007–08
- Supercopa de España: 2008
- Eredivisie Top Scorer: 1998–99, 1999–2000
- Dutch Player of the Year: 1999, 2000
- Champions League Most Valuable Striker: 2001–02
- Barclaycard Player of the Year: 2002
- Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year: 2001-02, 2002-03
- PFA Player of the Year: 2002
- Champions League Top Scorer: 2001–02, 2002–03,
- UEFA Club Forward of the Year: 2002–03
- Premier League Top Scorer: 2002–03
- FIFA 100
- Pichichi Trophy: 2006–07
best player in the world
lethal in finishing
he is very good player
Ruud can be a good player but he is too slow and
he is a bad penalty taker plus he doesn't really take part in the