Ruud van Nistelrooy most efficient striker of the decade

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Football player Ruud van Nistelrooy was recently declared the most efficient striker in the world for the first decade of this century by the International Federation of Football History & Statistics (IFFHS).

The player from Noord Brabant finished just ahead of Thierry Henry of France and Didier Drogba of the Ivory Coast, Volkskrant reports. The IFFHS looked only at goals scored in international competitions to arrive at its ranking. In his career Van Nistelrooy has done relatively poorly when playing for the Dutch national team, not helped by injuries and a lack of confidence by successive national managers. His strike rate in the most prestigious club tournament of the world, the UEFA Champions League, is exemplary though. With 56 goals he occupies the second place on the all-time top scorers list.

Van Nistelrooy’s last name was originally spelled Van Nistelrooij, but the player had it changed according to Wikipedia so that it would become easier to read and pronounce by foreign fans. The name means ‘from Nistelrode’, and refers to a place in Noord Brabant just South of Van Nistelrooy’s birth town of Oss.

Although popular all over the planet—Ruud scored a whopping 150 goals during his five year stay at Manchester United, itself a favourite of international football fans—the Dutch have traditionally been wary of Van Nistelrooy’s contribution to the world of football. The government sponsored tourist board Holland.com rates former Ajax strikers Van Basten and Bergkamp higher, even though their goal tallies do not even come near that of the player from Brabant. Van Nistelrooy may not have helped his cause by almost single handedly humiliating press darling Ajax during several matches.

Van Nistelrooy (35) is currently plying his trade for Málaga in the Spanish competition (La Liga), though he is struggling to find the form of his younger years.

(Photo by Florian K., some rights reserved)

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