René van de Kerkhof

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René van de Kerkhof
Van de Kerkhof in 1974
Personal information
Full name Reinier Lambertus van de Kerkhof
Date of birth (1951-09-16) 16 September 1951 (age 72)
Place of birth Helmond, Netherlands
Position(s) Right winger
Youth career
1959–1966 RKSV MULO
1966–1970 Twente
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1970–1973 Twente 99 (34)
1973–1983 PSV Eindhoven 278 (85)
1983–1984 Apollon Smyrnis 23 (3)
1984–1985 Seiko 14 (8)
1985–1988 Helmond Sport 61 (8)
1988–1989 FC Eindhoven 30 (3)
Total 505 (141)
National team
1973–1982[1] Netherlands 47 (5)
Men's football
Representing  Netherlands
FIFA World Cup
Runner-up 1974 West Germany
Runner-up 1978 Argentina
European Championship
Third place 1976 Yugoslavia
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Reinier Lambertus van de Kerkhof (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈrɛiniːr rəˈneː lɑmˈbɛrtʏs fɑn də ˈkɛr(ə)kɦɔf];[2] born 16 September 1951) is a Dutch former professional footballer. He played as a right winger for FC Twente, PSV Eindhoven and the Netherlands. He was part of the teams that reached the finals of the 1974 FIFA World Cup and the 1978 FIFA World Cup. Van de Kerkhof is the twin brother of Willy van de Kerkhof. Van de Kerkhof was a fast footballer with a great urge to move forward. His nickname was 'The Blind'. He was widely regarded as one of the best Dutch players of all time. Van de Kerkhof was named by Pelé as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March 2004.

Club career[change | change source]

Van de Kerkhof and his twin brother played as amateurs for RKSV MULO. They both made their professional debuts with FC Twente in 1970. Three years later they also went to PSV together. Their brother Gerard also played as a professional football player. Their father Renier van de Kerkhof (1910-1956), was an amateur football player for Deurania, which was merged into SV Deurne in 1942. Van de Kerkhof played thirteen seasons at PSV, in ten of them together with Willy in the first team. He played his last three years with the PSV amateurs (1989-1992). 1978 was his most successful year. Besides becoming runners-up at the World Cup, he also won the UEFA Cup, the Dutch championship and the KNVB Beker with PSV that year: "we had won everything possible – the title, the Dutch Cup and the UEFA Cup, and we had five or six players who had been runners-up at the FIFA World Cup in Argentina with the Netherlands. It was a beautiful period under coach Kees Rijvers", van de Kerkhof later would tell to Berend Scholten.[3]

International career[change | change source]

Van de Kerkhof made his debut for the Netherlands national team on 28 March 1973, during a friendly match against Austria. He played at the 1974 FIFA World Cup, the UEFA Euro 1976, the 1978 FIFA World Cup and the UEFA Euro 1980. He played a total of 47 games for the Orange squad. He – like his brother – scored five times. He scored those goals in the qualifying series for the 1974 World Cup, 1976 European Championship and 1978 World Cup, at the 1978 World Cup and in the qualifying series for the 1980 European Championship.

Van de Kerkhof was a substitute in the lost World Cup final against West Germany in 1974. According to measurements of the images in 2006, he was the best Dutch player in this match based on effectiveness, according to researchers from the University of Groningen and the Groningen company Team Support. systems.

Just before the kick-off of the World Cup final in 1978, Van de Kerkhof was the center of a riot. Because he had broken his hand, he played with a plaster cuff. Argentina captain Daniel Passarella demanded Italian referee Sergio Gonella be replaced. When national coach Ernst Happel sent the Dutch players to the dressing room, Gonella decided to allow Van de Kerkhof's 'hard hand' with some extra foam rubber and tape. The kick-off was fifteen minutes late. In 1978, the Van de Kerkhof brothers were the only twins to ever play in the final of a World Cup.

Career statistics[change | change source]

Club[change | change source]

Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League National Cup League Cup Continental Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Twente 1970–71 Eredivisie 33 12
1971–72 32 10
1972–73 34 12
Total 99 34
PSV Eindhoven 1973–74 Eredivisie 31 20
1974–75 30 9
1975–76 34 8
1976–77 28 9
1977–78 29 10
1978–79 27 8
1979–80 29 3
1980–81 18 1
1981–82 29 9
1982–83 23 8
Total 278 85
Apollon Smyrnis 1983–84 Alpha Ethniki 23 3
Seiko 1984–85 First Division 14 8 6 1
Helmond Sport 1985–86 14 4
1986–87 23 3
1987–88 24 1
Total 61 8
FC Eindhoven 1987–88 11 1
1988–89 19 2
Total 30 3
Career total 505 141

Honours[change | change source]

René van de Kerkhof in 1978

PSV Eindhoven




References[change | change source]

  1. "Rene van de Kerkhof – International Appearances". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. Archived from the original on 1 November 2012.
  2. Van in isolation: [vɑn].
  3. PSV smell danger as Rangers visit stirs memories by Berend Scholten
  4. "FIFA World Cup Awards » All-Star Team". Archived from the original on 30 June 2016. Retrieved 20 October 2020.