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Friday, June 15, 2007

The Marco van Basten volley

Marco van Basten was one of the greatest strikers to ever play the game. He is a legend at his clubs Ajax and AC Milan and sadly has his career cut short because of injury right when he was in his prime. He is not often mentioned with the greatest strikers, but should be. Currently he is the coach of the Dutch national side and doing an excellent job of it.

His most famous and stunning goal came in the final of Euro 1988.

The Dutch were pressuring the USSR heavily in midfield. A pass was intercepted and the ‘Oranje’ started to charge up-field. After compressing the defense towards the center of the field in front of the box, the ball is passed wide where Arnold Muhren sends a high, long floating cross from the outside of the box on the left.

The ball floats endlessly, surly giving the defense time to regroup. The ball traveled about 35 meters towards van Basten at the complete opposite end of the area, and almost at the touch line. Hopeless, you think. But, almost at a dead angle to the goal van Basten volleys the ball with the top of his right foot and guilds it in a perfect arc and with terrific power and accuracy over keeper Rinat Dasayev into the opposite end of the net. It is an incredible goal from an incredible player, one of the greatest volley's ever, and done in a major final. That goal topped off Holland’s only international crown.



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