Dennis Bergkamp Biography | Family | Career | Achievements

Dennis Bergkamp Biography
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Dennis Bergkamp was one of the greatest strikers of his generation and was a part of the Arsenal golden era. He has played in each and every position before finding the position that suited him. He also played as a defender during his spell in Ajax which gives him a brief of how defenders think and how can they be beaten.

He was well known for his skills and scoring abilities as a striker but he could also play as a free man behind a lone striker which gave him more space. He was a quick, elegant, intelligent, and gifted player.

He was regarded as one of the most technically accomplished players who possessed an excellent first touch, which made a great partnership with his quick feet and his change of pace allowed him to beat defenders in one on one situations with feints, while his attacking movement and close control with the ball and create space for teammates.

His vision and passing with both feet, despite being right-footed, allowed him to provide assists and also score goals. He once said that even after being a striker, he preferred to provide assistance rather than score.

Dennis Bergkamp biography is about his family and his memorable career.

Dennis Nicolaas maria bergkamp:

Dennis Bergkamp outside Nicolaas Lyceum School

Dennis Nicolaas Maria Bergkamp was born on 10th May 1969 at Amsterdam in the Netherlands. His father Wim was an electrician and an amateur footballer in the lower leagues in Amsterdam who had earned the title of Dennis Law from where he decided to keep the name of his son as Denis Bergkamp.

His mom Tonnie was a housewife. Dennis Bergkamp just like his father played in the lower league and was eventually spotted by Ajax at the age of 11.

Dennis Bergkamp married Henrita Ruizendaal on 16 June 1993. The couple lives a happy life having four children namely Estelle Deborah, Mitchel Dennis, Yasmin Naomi, and Saffron Rita. Bergkamp’s nephew, Roland Bergkamp, currently plays for RKC Waalwijk, having previously played for Brighton & Hove Albion wishes to follow the footsteps of his uncle.

CAREER

CLUB CAREER

AJAX:

Dennis Bergkamp joined Ajax at the age of 11. He earned his senior team debut on 14th December 1986 in a 2-0 win against Roda JC. He scored his first goal for the club on 22nd February 1987 in a 6-0 win.

In the 1989-1990 season, Ajax won the league title after 5 years where Bergkamp scored 29 goals in 36 games. Ajax won the 1992 UEFA Cup Final, beating Torino then defeated Heerenveen 6–2 in the final of the KNVB Cup on 20 May 1993. Bergkamp remained the top scorer in the League from 1991 to 1993.

INTER MILAN:

Goal.com

On 16th February 1993, Dennis Bergkamp agreed on terms with Inter Milan and Inter paid a fee of £7.1 million to buy him. On his arrival at Inter, Bergkamp said “Inter met all my demands. The most important thing for me was the stadium, the people at the club, and their style of play.”.

On 29th August 1993, Dennis Bergkamp made his debut against Reggiana which resulted in a 2-1 victory over Ajax. In September 1993, he scored his first goal for the club against Cremonese. He took time to settle down in the new style of play and gradually learned how to beat Italian defense.

In his first season with the club, he scored 8 goals in the league. The club finished 13th in Serie A, one point away from relegation but won the UEFA Cup by beating Austria Salzburg. Dennis Bergkamp was the joint top scorer of the league.

In his next season with the club, he was interrupted by injuries and fatigue. His shy personality and his homesick nature had made his relations with the Italian media and the fans uncomfortable.

He had also developed Aviophobia which did not allow him to play many away games. He was given the title of Donkey of the Week by the Italian publication. He scored only 5 goals in 26 appearances where Inter finished 6th in the league and also failed to retain the UEFA Cup.

Arsenal Football Club:

After his increasing discomforts in Italy, Dennis Bergkamp decided to take a leave from Italy. He became manager Bruce Rioch’s first signing at Arsenal and broke the club’s transfer fee record set at £2.5 million.

Initial Years:
Hindustan Times

He made his debut on the first day of the 1995-1996 season against Middlesbrough. He took some time to adapt with the English style of play. He finally opened his scoring for the club with a brace against Southampton. Dennis Bergkamp ended the season with 11 goals in 33 appearances and helped Arsenal finish 5th in the League and earn a spot at the UEFA Cup.

In September 1996, Arsenal signed Arsene Wenger as their manager who proved to be the turning point of Bergkamp’s career. Wenger decided to use Dennis Bergkamp as a fulcrum of his team.

Dennis Bergkamp made fewer appearances on the team in the 1996-1997 season but made more impact. He provided 13 assists that season. In the match against Tottenham Hotspurs, Bergkamp set up an 88th-minute winner for Tony Adams to volley in using his left foot. He then scored in injury time, controlling a high ball with his left foot and evading his marker Stephen Carr in a tight area to set up his shot.

Arsenal finished third that season in the league. The next season he helped the club with the Premier League title and the FA Cup title and became the top scorer of the club with 22 goals. On 23 August 1997, Bergkamp scored his first hat-trick for the club against Leicester City.

Scoring Spectacular Goals:

The third goal required just one touch to control the ball in the penalty box, another to flick it past his marker Matt Elliott before juggling it with his feet and shooting past goalkeeper Kasey Keller. After the match, the Leicester City’s manager said “the best hat-trick I’ve ever seen”.

The next season was not as successful as the previous one because Arsenal lost the League title to Manchester United with a close call on the finals day. Dennis Bergkamp finished the season as the club’s top scorer with 16 goals and the Premier League top assist provider with 13 assists.

In the FA Cup semi-finals, after the score being a 1-1 draw against Manchester United, Arsenal received a penalty in the final minutes, Dennis Bergkamp took the penalty but it was saved by keeper Peter Schemechiel and Ryan Giggs scored a winner for Manchester United in the second half of the extra time.

After that day, Bergkamp never took a penalty in his career. The next season was an unfortunate one as Arsenal finished 2nd in the league and lost the 2000 UEFA Cup on penalties to Galatasaray. 

The 2000-2001 season was another unfortunate season as Arsenal finished 2nd in the League for the third consecutive time and lost the FA Cup to Liverpool. The next season came out to be a productive one where Arsenal finally claimed the Premier League and won the FA Cup by beating Chelsea 2-0 in the finals. Dennis Bergkamp played 33 matches and provided 16 assists one of which was against Juventus in the second group stage of the Champions League.

Holding off two markers, he twisted and turned before feeding the ball to Freddie Ljungberg in the penalty box to score. On 27th January 2002, Dennis Bergkamp headed in the winner against Liverpool in a FA Cup fourth-round tie but was shown a red card for a two-footed lunge on defender Jamie Carragher, who himself was sent off for throwing a coin into the crowd. He was subsequently banned for three matches. Dennis Bergkamp appealed for his ban but was unsuccessful.

On 4th January, Dennis Bergkamp scored his 100th goal for Arsenal against Oxford City. On 3rd March 2002, in a match against Newcastle, Dennis Bergkamp scored an amazing goal where  Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires played a low pass from the left flank to Dennis Bergkamp in the edge of the opponent area with his back to goal, under pressure from his marker Nikos Dabizas, Bergkamp controlled the ball with one flick and went around the other side before placing the ball precisely into the bottom right-hand corner to score.

Creating Premier League History:
Dennis Bergkamp with the F.A.Barclaycard Premiership Trophy and the F.A.Cup. Arsenal 4:3 Everton, F.A.Barclaycard Premiership, Arsenal Stadium, Highbury, London, 11/5/2002. Credit : Stuart MacFarlane / Arsenal Football Club.

On 20 July 2003, Dennis Bergkamp signed a one-year extension at the club. The 2003-2004 season was one of the most successful seasons for any club in the history of the Premier League where Arsenal won the golden Premier League title after being undefeated throughout the season. Arsenal became the first and only club in premier league history to do it.

Although Arsenal did not achieve the same level of success in the UEFA Champions League after being defeated by Chelsea in the quarter-finals, Dennis Bergkamp decided to sign a year extension with the club. In the 2004-2005 season, Arsenal failed to claim the league title and finished 2nd in the Premier League.

On 22nd August 2004, Dennis Bergkamp captained Arsenal to a comeback from a 3-1 deficit to a 5-3 win against Middlesbrough. Arsenal broke the record of most matches unbeaten which was earlier set by Nottingham Forest.

Arsenal won the 2005 FA Cup against Manchester United on Penalties. In Arsenal’s final home game against Everton, he was awarded the Man Of The Match after Arsenal won 7-0 where Dennis Bergkamp scored one and assisted 3.

In his final season with Arsenal, he helped Arsenal finish fourth in the League and go on to the Champions League finals. Dennis Bergkamp scored an injury-time winner against Thun on Matchday 1 of the Champions League, having come on as a substitute in the 72nd minute. Arsenal was going to change their stadium, so the last home match in the old stadium was named Bergkamp Day.

Ending His Career:

On 15th April 2006, Bergkamp Day took place where Arsenal played against West Bromwich Albion. It celebrated Bergkamp’s contribution to Arsenal where the fans were given commemorative orange “DB10” T-shirts which symbolized the color of his national team, his initials, and his squad number. 

Dennis Bergkamp himself came on as a second-half substitute and set up the winning goal for Robert Pires after Nigel Quashie had leveled the scoreline and Bergkamp’s 89th-minute goal proved to be his last for Arsenal in competitive football. In the Champions League final against Barcelona, Bergkamp was an unused substitute where Arsenal lost the game 2-1 after Barcelona scored two goals in the last 13 minutes of the game. 

On 22 July 2006, a testimonial was played in his honor at the new stadium as Arsenal played his old club Ajax. Bergkamp kicked off the match with his father, Wim, and son. In the game, the first half was played by current squad members whereas the 2nd half was played by ex-players, where Arsenal won 2-1.

INTERNATIONAL CAREER:

Foottheball

Bergkamp made his international debut for the Netherlands National Team against Italy on 26 September 1990 as a substitute. He scored his first goal for the team against Greece on 21 November 1990.

He played his first international tournament in the 1992 Euro Cup. Bergkamp scored 3 goals in the tournament but was eventually knocked out the tournament by Denmark who turned out to be the eventual winners. 

Bergkamp scored 5 goals in the 1994 FIFA World Cup qualifiers and scored against Morocco in the group stage of the tournament. He also scored against the Republic of Ireland in the round of 16 and scored against mighty Brazil in the quarter-finals but was defeated in the quarter-finals by Brazil 3-2.

In the 1998 FIFA World Cup qualification on 9 November 1996, he scored his first hat-trick for the national team against Wales.

In the tournament he scored one of the greatest winning goal against Argentina where he took one touch to control a long 60-yard aerial pass from Frank de Boer, brought the ball down through Argentine defender Roberto Ayala’s legs, and finally finished by firing a volley with the outside of his right foot, past keeper Carlos Roa at a tight angle from the right. Bergkamp considered the goal as the best of his career.

Bergkamp scored thrice in the tournament and helped the Netherlands reach the semi-finals unexpectedly where they had to take an exit against Brazil on penalties.

In the Euro 2000, Netherlands played beautifully to reach the semi-finals. In the semi-finals, Netherland was defeated by Italy 3-1 on penalties. After the defeat, Bergkamp announced his retirement from International Football.

Dennis Bergkamp BiographyCOACHING CAREER:

Daily Cannon

After retiring he initially decided not to work as a coach and spend his time with his family but later began a fast-track coaching diploma for former Dutch international footballers and undertook a trainee role at Ajax.

After completing the Coach Betaald Voetbal course by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), Bergkamp was appointed assistant coach to Johan Neeskens for the Netherlands B team on 26 October 2008.

In the 2008 – 2009 season, Bergkamp returned to Ajax in a formal coaching position with responsibility for the U12 youth team. In December 2010, he was promoted as an assistant manager to the Ajax under 19 side.

In August 2011, he was appointed as the Ajax main team assistant coach but was eventually sacked in 2017.

ACHIEVEMENTS AND RECORDS:

Tribuna.com

Bergkamp had a special ability to score with fewer touches which always made him better than other and Arsene Wenger said “He needs fewer touches to score. Sometimes just one, when others need two or three.”

The achievements and records of Denis Bergkamp are as follows :-

Club

Ajax

Inter Milan

Arsenal

Individual

English Football Hall of Fame: 2007

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