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Ruud van Nistelrooy's Biography

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Ruud van Nistelrooy was born on July 1st, 1976, in North Brabant, Holland.

Despite being a natural goalscorer, Ruud van Nistelrooy started his career as a defender. He soon became a midfielder and subsequently a striker. He played for FC Den Bosch and then SC Heerenveen before moving to PSV Eindhoven in 1988 for a record sum between two Dutch clubs: £4.2million.

In his two seasons at Heerenveen, van Nistelrooy was brilliant. He scored 60 goals in all competitions and in his first year there he was voted Dutch Player of the Year after notching up 31 goals in 34 games.

Manchester United became very interested in van Nistelrooy and almost signed him on 25th April, 2000, but he failed a medical due to a cruciate knee ligament injury.

Sir Alex Ferguson didn’t lose interest and after a full recovery, almost exactly a year later, van Nistelrooy signed for Man United for £19million, breaking the then British transfer record.

In 2001/02, his first season at Old Trafford, Ruud van Nistelrooy scored an incredible 36 goals, and won the PFA Player’s Player of the Year. The following season he hit 44 goals, and Manchester United won the Premiership.

Van Nistelrooy was selected for Holland to play in Euro 2004, where the Dutch reached the semis. He was one of 3 players to score in every group match - the others were Milan Baros and Wayne Rooney.

In the 2004/05 season, despite suffering from injury for part of the season, van Nistelrooy netted 16 times.

Towards the end of the 2005/06 season, Sir Alex Ferguson started playing Louis Saha upfront and van Nistelrooy had to settle with a place on the bench.

Van Nistelrooy is one of the most prolific scorers in the world and after only 5 seasons at Old Trafford he had already netted 150 times in 219 games. Including his time at PSV he had scored 46 goals in 55 Champions League games by the end of the 2005/6 season.

In July 2006 Real Madrid signed Ruud van Nistelrooy from Manchester United for a reported fee of over £10 million. The striker put his departure down to a falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson, saying: "My relationship with Ferguson had ended which was very painful."

Ruud van Nistelrooy was part of the 2006 World Cup Holland squad.

In the 2006/7 season Ruud van Nistelrooy was just one goal behind Roma striker Francesco Totti, who won the European Golden Boot award. Van Nistelrooy's 25 goals helped Real Madrid to top the Primera Liga table.

In August 2008, Ruud van Nistelrooy announced he was retiring from international football.

In June 2011, Ruud Van Nistelrooy joined Malaga of La Liga on a free transfer.

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