Forgotten players of football: Dennis Bergkamp

Undoubtedly one of the best football players to have graced the field is “the non-flying Dutchman “Dennis Bergkamp. The player also known as the technician was a class apart with his exceptional yet technical footwork and also an essence of pure class in his game. A footballer who can fill many pages with the wonder goals he has scored with another two filled with some of the most sublime assists that only he would have pulled off and no one, literally no one.

Dennis Bergkamp
Dennis Bergkamp after scoring for Arsenal (Transfermarkt)

Commentators, Managers, players, legends, heirs, and possibly every person who enjoys “The Beautiful Game “ have gone through dictionaries in a bid to find superlatives since every possible adjective was already associated with him when he used to play. The former Holland captain was an exception in terms of many world-class players that came to the Emirates stadium and excelled, considering the change he brought in the mentality of the Arsenal squad during the early 2000s.

Dennis Bergkamp’s time as a player 

The player rose from the famous academy of Ajax Amsterdam in the 1986-1987 season and was promoted to the first team in the very next season. Seven seasons with the Dutch outfit with a total of 185 appearances to his name. A 7.1 million euro was offered and the Dutchman was off to Italian giants Inter Milan. Not the most pleasant of his time in the beautiful city of Milan Bergkamp left due to a pretty awkward reason. As told in his Autobiography “Stillness and Speed “The non-flying Dutchman pretty much feared flying in the air. Initially, it wasn’t much but during the 1994 World Cup, the Holland team used to travel a lot at different venues for their matches which made him even more uncomfortable.

The technician was the top scorer in for Netherlands with 3 goals to his name but left Inter Milan due to his fear of flying a lot and signed for the Gunners who offered 100 grand less than what he demanded since he already had a conversation with the Arsenal hierarchy about him travelling to only north European destinations that can be travelled by roads or railways. Arsenal had paid 7.5 million euros for him breaking a club record fee in 1995 during the tenure of manager Bruce Rioch. 

EREDIVISIE           1851031941
SERIA A5211801
UEFA CUP4233720
FA CUP3313533
EFL CUP168210
CUP WINNERS CUP1010              0            0
ITALY CUP720              0            0
COMMUNITY SHIELD5010            0
UEFA SUPER CUP20            0              0            0

By far one of the major catalyst signings ever in the history of Arsenal, the player had created an altogether different team around him. The very next year after his joining Sir Arsene Wenger came and he described Bergkamp as “a blessing, a gift when I arrived”. The pioneer of guiding Arsenal to the next level, Dennis Bergkamp had been the anchor to making the gunners England’s best at that time surpassing a prime Manchester United squad.

From a wide player to a striker and then the architect in the advanced midfield, Dennis Bergkamp was good everywhere he was asked to play. So good that he was a part, not just a part but an essential part of the Arsenal team that became “Invincibles” during the last stage of his career, something that no team ever could do or achieve. A season without a loss. A team consisting of talents like Robert Pires, Patrick Viera, Ljungberg, and many who contributed to a title bigger than any I suppose. He decided to call on the game the very next season with so many players at Highbury to attend his farewell, Legend Marco Van Basten and Sir Johan Cruyff were among them.

Some famous quotes from Dennis Bergkamp

“I have always said Dennis Bergkamp will remain the best partner I have ever had. He is a dream for a striker.” ~ Thierry Henry 

“He has intelligence and class. Class is, of course, most of the time linked to what you can do with the ball, but the intelligence makes you efficiently use the technique.” ~ Sir Arsene Wenger 

“If Ryan Giggs is worth £20million, Dennis Bergkamp is worth £100million.” ~ Marco Van Basten

“I honestly didn’t think a professional player could be that good.”

~ Paul Merson

“One runs out of superlatives in describing him as a player: he has great vision, awareness, touch, finish, not to mention selflessness, which for a striker almost sounds like a contradiction in terms.”

~ Gary Linekar 

Cover Credits: EPLofficial

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