Tuesday, December 7

The torture of Van Basten

  • The biography ‘Frágil. My story ‘collects the terrible suffering of the Dutch star, who had to retire prematurely with a shattered ankle

  • The 56-year-old former Ajax and Milan player played his last game at 28 after winning three Ballons d’Or, one Euro and two European Cups

He was one of the best players in history. Elegant, talented and devastating in the area, Marco van Basten (Utrecht, 56 years old) took three times the Ballon d’Or (1988, 1989 and 1992) and won six Leagues and two European Cups with Ajax and Milan, among other successes. But his career was not complete. With 28 years played his last game. The right ankle tortured a genius.

«No, I have never taken methamphetamine. Nor have I spent years hooked on cocaine. I didn’t even get into a pool with naked women during a Euro or World Cup. Neither am i addicted to the game. And I have never carried toupee. Sorry to disappoint you. Thus begins the biography ‘Frágil. My story ‘, a raw, sincere and direct story of the life of the Dutch star. Far from disappointing, its history fascinates.


“I crawl around the house to urinate”

Torture begins and ends in that damn joint that changed everything. Progress is already devastating. The memory moves to 1995, just after retirement. “Everything is dark. I walk crawling across the tiles. I have the urgent need to urinate […] I have to be patient because it will take me at least two minutes to get to the bathroom. I never get there before I have counted to 120. Each step is a torture».

“First I had become a professional footballer who could no longer play, and now an ordinary man who cannot walk. I limp. I am disabled»He recalls bitterly. «Sometimes it helps me to think about God. I’m mad at him. Furious. What’s this all about, why do I have to go through this shit“Is it like a lesson in humility?”


“Jopie drowned when the ice broke”

Childhood memories point to Grandpa, weightlifting champion of the Netherlands, and father, Joop, what stole food the Germans during the war drilling bags of flour in trucks. However, there is a day that takes center stage. Van Basten saw how his friend Jopie it sank into a lake as the ice they were walking through broke. Dead drowned.

“I was 7 years old. I still didn’t really know what it meant to be dead […] For a while I felt very bad. I Tormented the question of whether he should not have done something else. His sadness was slow to disappear. He even wore a small photo from your friend for a long time. Until his father took it from him and broke it. I believed that so much negative energy it would hurt.


“He was like a saint, our Jesus Christ”

«For me it was a kind of holy, my idol. He had enormous, unlimited respect for that man. When we played in the Street, I was always Johan, and now I was with him in the field ». This is how Van Basten tells the first contact with Cruyff on a Tuesday in 1981 when he was still in the second Ajax team.

“I was 17 years old; Cruyff, thirty something. However, when we played together there were no barriers. It was so fanatic like us, ”explains the Dutchman, who stops at a collision. “One Saturday morning he started it with me. He criticized everything he did, every ball, every movement. He kept lecturing me and make fun from my […] I yelled at him to go hell. My eyes were filled with tears right away […]. There was insulted to Cruyff, who was more or less like our lord Jesus Christ. God Himself.


“When he woke up he didn’t recognize me”

October 16, 1985 Holland played in Belgium looking for a ticket to the Mexico World Cup. He lost 1-0, but the worst for Van Basten came hours later. At one thirty at night his dad gave him terrible news. «Your mother has suffered a heart attack». His brother lived in Canada and his sister in Italy. The next morning she seemed lucid but nine days later she suffered a knock that plunged her into eat.

When he finally woke up, nearly 30 years of souvenirs. He hardly recognized us. I didn’t remember anything and it was never the same again. The woman entered a mental hospital Y he died in September 2007.

THE 1987 CUP

“Winning the first final is a liberation”

At the age of 22 comes the first chance to shine in Europe. «It is the day of the final. May 13, 1987. I’m in my hotel room, but I can not sleep. I go around […] I look out the window. Athens it’s noisy, everything in Greece seems noisy. ‘

The Leipzig East Germany’s rival in the Cup Winners’ Cup final. The Johan’s talk, the coach of that Ajax, is clear: «If you help each other you will be better together. Know your strengths and your weak points. Do not complain about them and use them with intelligence». Van Basten scores the only goal of the match. «I rise like a catapult. Explosion. I receive the Cup stunned. Winning the first final is one release. Childish joy. Johan laughs his infectious laugh. That’s it”.


“It was a kind of gift from God”

I had barely played all season with him Milan for the happy ankle, he had been out of the national team for eight months and started the 1988 Eurocup in the dock. The Netherlands lost in their debut against the USSR and the coach turned to Van Basten instead of Bosman. Against England, Michels wrote my name on the blackboard. That lit everything up […] I scored three goals. It was him height of happiness. The first was a liberation; the second was a confirmation; the third scratched it amazing».

The route continued with success before Germany in the semifinals and the soviet revenge in the grand final in Munich. And that picture. The goal of his life. “When the center arrived I thought: ‘By God, I have to put her in the goal'”. His beautiful volley guessed the title. «I didn’t even believe it myself. The other players asked me: ‘What happened? How did you do it?’ But i had no idea […] It was kind of Gift from God».


«We voted for Johan and Beenhakker came»

«I felt shame, we had done the ridiculous at the World Cup in Italy. Was the first big defeat of my career ”, says Van Basten in a bittersweet year in which he won his second European Cup with Milan but also missed a League “rigged” against Napoli Maradona.

The misfortune extended to the selection. Michels left office after the success of 1988. Libregts, faced with Gullit, replaced him and reached the final phase, but was dismissed just before the tournament. The players chose their favorite substitute: eight votes for Cruyff , three for Leg chopper and two for From Mos.

«Koeman he transmitted the result to Michels, but the federation chose Beenhakker. Holy of what? It was just a shame». That choice infuriated the locker room. The Netherlands fell to West Germany in the round of 16 on the day of spit from Rijkaard to Völler. Years later, Van Basten discovered that Michels did not even speak to Johan. «He was afraid that he would win the World Cup and tarnish his victory at the European Championship. A most normal human feeling: the envy».


“Berlusconi had to choose between him or me”

Van Basten’s Milan was the best team in the world, but something was grinding. The scorer was not happy with Arrigo Sacchi. In a lecture by the technician, Marco jumped: «Mister, I want to make one thing very clear. You always say that we are so successful because we have worked with you, but I would say something different. We have not won everything we have won thanks to you, but despite you».

It became a deathly silence. Sacchi was looking at me as if I had nailed him a dagger in the heart. Totally terrified. Berlusconi had to choose between the coach or his star. I do not doubt. The owner showed up with Fabio Capello. “It turned out to be a masterful move. Someone who was talking about football again. Someone who was direct».


I have lost my life. I attend my funeral »

On December 7, 1992 the FIFA recognized Van Basten as the best of the world with the votes of 171 selectors. Days later he underwent surgery again. They told him that he would be out for a month and he dreamed of continuing to shine in San Siro, but everything would end up being a chimera. He scored his last goal in April in Ancona and on May 26, 1993 he played his last game with only 28 years.

It may interest you

“The random He wanted the final of that European Cup to be held in the same stadium where I had experienced one of the best moments of my career: the Munich Olympics. It’s amazing how painfully ironic that can be life. In that stadium it turned on and off my star».

He played undercover and Milan fell to him Marseilles (1-0). One month after he married Liesbeth, with whom he had three children. On August 18, 1995 his goodbye was finalized with a tribute at San Siro before 80,000 fans. “Football is my life. I have lost my life. Today I have died as a footballer. Today I attend my own funeral.


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