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Marvellous Milanisti: Marco van Basten 

Born in Utrecht in 1964, Marco van Basten was a Dutch international striker who joined the Rossoneri in 1987. Considered by many to be one of the best strikers in the history of football, injuries ended his career prematurely in 1995. "The Swan of Utrecht", as van Basten was known, started his professional career in Holland. He shot to fame with Ajax, spending 6 seasons in Amsterdam, until he moved to Milan at the age of 22. Alongside Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard, van Basten was part of Milan's iconic Dutch trio who, under the guidance of Arrigo Sacchi, helped the Rossoneri reach the pinnacle of the game. Il Grande Milan overcame Maradona's Napoli to clinch the Scudetto in 1988, with van Basten scoring a vital goal against the Partenopei at the San Paolo. Milan went on to win the European Cup in twice in a row after that in 1989 & 1990. After Sacchi's departure in 1991, van Basten continued to shine under Fabio Capello, as Milan won two consecutive Scudetti in 1992 & 1993. Memorable performances include a super hat trick, featuring a sublime bicycle kick, against IFK Göteborg in the Champions League in 1992. The Swan of Utrecht's last match in a Milan shirt was the 1993 Champions League Final against Marseille, where he aggravated his recurrent ankle injury. Marco van Basten eventually retired after numerous ankle surgeries in 1995. He made a total of 201 appearances for Milan, scoring 125 goals. On a personal level, he won the Ballon d'Or three times and was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1992. He helped Holland win their first ever piece of silverware, scoring for the Oranje in the Euro 1988 final against the USSR. Following his retirement, van Basten got involved in football management, coaching both Holland and numerous clubs in the Eredivisie. He also served as FIFA Technical Director from 2016 to 2018.

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