Born: May 10, 1969; Amsterdam, Netherlands
Clubs: Ajax, Internazionale, Arsenal
Lifetime Club Appearances/Goals: 552/201
Nickname: “The Non-Flying Dutchman” (a reference to his hatred of air-travel)
Notable Hardware: Three Premiership titles and four FA Cup titles with Arsenal (including two “doubles”), one Dutch Eredivisie title and a UEFA Cup title with Ajax
In Brief: You won’t have to search the annals of international football for long before running into the name Dennis Bergkamp. One of the best Dutch footballers to play the game, Bergkamp is widely-regarded as one of the best players of his generation, if not ever.
Employed chiefly as a striker or deep-lying play-maker (aka a “Number 10”), Bergkamp was known for his ability to play with ease anywhere on the field, thanks to being steeped in the Dutch philosophy of “Total Football,” and for his incredible ball control, often needing only one or two touches to shoot or pass, where other lesser players would need three or four.
Born in 1969, Bergkamp was recruited for the Ajax youth system the age of 11 and made his first team debut in 1986 at age 17. There Bergkamp was the author of a whopping 103 goals in 185 appearances through 1993, winning the Eredivisie (the Dutch top tier) in 1989/1990 and the UEFA Cup (now the Europa Leauge Cup) in 1991-1992.
After a somewhat unremarkable two-year stint with Italy’s Internazionale, Bergkamp joined Arsenal in the English Premier League, and his career — thought to be taking a down-turn while in Italy — bounced back in a big way. Bergkamp flourished under manager Arsene Wenger, newly-arrived in 1996, and helped the club to three Premier League Titles including Premiership and FA Cup “doubles” in 1997/1998 and 2001/2002 and a total of four FA Cup championships, while netting 87 goals in 315 appearances.
Bergkamp also played for the Netherlands national team throughout the 90s and although the side did not get any silverware during that time, Bergkamp served his country well, netting 37 goals in 79 apps.