In 2004, the Dutch national teams surveyed the top 100 Dutch personalities, with Van Basten coming 25th, second highest among footballers, after Johan Cruyff. Known for his power on the ball, tactical awareness, and spectacular strikes and volleys, Van Basten was named the 1992 FIFA World Player of the Year and three times the European Footballer of the Year (1988, 1989, and 1992). Buoyed by his performances at the international level, Van Basten had an outstanding 1988-89 season. He was named the European Footballer of the Year, scored nineteen goals in Serie A, and helped AC Milan defeat Steaua Bucuresti and win the European Cup. Regarded as one of the greatest and most complete forwards and players in sports history, thanks to his prolific scoring ability and vastly superior skillset, Van Basten was nicknamed Swan Utrecht because of his elegant, intelligent attacking game. He was known for his propensity to score acrobatic goals.
Dutch footballer Marco van Basten was the type of striker that had all of the attributes you would look for in a striker: from finishing, passing, and dribbling, he could drive Europe’s best defences to the ground and did it year in and year out, with his ability to drive Europes best stoppers to the ground, and was known for his propensity to score goals with his feet. Dutch footballer, Marco van Basten, helped AC Milan go unbeaten for an entire season in 1991-92, scoring 25 goals as Milan won the title. During the injury-plagued following year, he played for the club irregularly. Marco van Basten’s ligaments were too damaged to allow him to feature in any league games, but, urged on by his boyhood heroes, he played the crucial European fixtures; he even scored the lone goal in the final, his last match before leaving for AC Milan.
Height and the brutal impact made Marco van Basten’s Ajax Amsterdam debut only one game into the 1981-82 season; Van Basten played the next five seasons with them before moving to Milan for a world-record fee of 1 million pounds in 1987; a fee that is now considered to be an unbelievable bargain, mainly as Ruud Gullit was also acquired by Berlusconi in that season for a record-breaking PS 6 million.
All told, Marco would finish with Ajax scoring 128 goals in 133 matches, an insane number at the time, and then he was a member of the Sacchi side AC Milan, one of the best sides ever. AC Milan’s 1990-91 European campaign was destroyed in the semi-finals by Olympique Marseille, leading the club to a year-long ban from European football, with Van Basten banned from the tournament for four matches before that following an insensitive elbowing offence.
In 2017, two former Milan teammates, Demetrio Albertini and Marco Simone described the Dutchman as the best player they had played against.