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Wim Suurbier

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Wim Suurbier
Suurbier in 1978
Personal information
Full name Wilhelmus Lourens Johannes Suurbier
Date of birth (1945-01-16)16 January 1945
Place of birth Eindhoven, Netherlands
Date of death 12 July 2020(2020-07-12) (aged 75)
Place of death Amsterdam, Netherlands
Height 1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)
Position(s) Right back
Youth career
1954–1961 AVV Amstel
1961–1964 Ajax
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1964–1977 Ajax 392 (16)
1977–1978 Schalke 04 12 (0)
1978–1979 Metz 24 (0)
1979–1981 Los Angeles Aztecs 73 (3)
1980–1981Sparta Rotterdam (loan) 11 (1)
1982 San Jose Earthquakes 23 (0)
1982 Tung Sing 4 (0)
1982–1983 Golden Bay Earthquakes (indoor) 28 (0)
1986–1987 Tampa Bay Rowdies (indoor) 10 (0)
Total 577 (20)
National team
1966–1978[1] Netherlands 60 (3)
Teams managed
1983 Golden Bay Earthquakes (assistant)
1984 Tulsa Roughnecks
1986 Los Angeles Heat
1986–1987 Tampa Bay Rowdies
1988 Fort Lauderdale Strikers
1989 Miami Sharks
1994 St. Petersburg Kickers
2017 Kerala Blasters (assistant)
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

Wilhelmus Lourens Johannes Suurbier (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈʋɪm ˈsyːr.ˌbiːr]) (16 January 1945 – 12 July 2020) was a Dutch professional footballer and among others assistant coach of the Albania national team. He played as a right back and was part of the Netherlands national team and AFC Ajax teams of the 1970s. He was known for his urge to attack, pace, crosses and stamina, widely considered as one of the best defenders of his era during the 1970s.

Club career[change | change source]

Suurbier was born in Eindhoven. He made his debut for Ajax Amsterdam when he was 19 and played with them for 13 years, all throughout the most successful era until 1977 when he was 32 years old. Usually a right back, Suurbier was renowned for his pace and stamina. Suurbier was a big part of the 70's "total football" team the "Twelve Apostles" of Ajax Amsterdam led by Johan Cruijff, which lifted the UEFA European Cup three times in a row. In 1977, he moved to FC Schalke 04 for one season.[2]

In 1979, Suurbier transferred to the Los Angeles Aztecs of the North American Soccer League. He played three seasons in Los Angeles before moving to the San Jose Earthquakes for the 1982 season. In the fall of 1982, the team was renamed the Golden Bay Earthquakes and entered the Major Indoor Soccer League. He retired at the end of the season to become an assistant coach with the Earthquakes. He later resumed his playing career as a player-coach of the Tampa Bay Rowdies in the American Indoor Soccer Association.

International career[change | change source]

Wim Suurbier made his debut for the Netherlands national team on November 6, 1966 in a friendly match against Czechoslovakia, which ended with a score of 2-1. In 1974, Suurbier took part in the 1974 FIFA World Cup as part of the national team, where he played in all seven matches of his national team and won silver medals after the Dutch lost 2-1 against Germany. In 1976, he took part in the 1976 UEFA European Championship, where he won bronze medals after a 3-2 victory against Yugoslavia. In 1978, Suurbier took part in the 1978 FIFA World Cup for the second time as part of the national team, where he played in four matches of his team and again won silver medals. The final match with the Argentina, the Netherlands lost with a score of 3-1, was Suurbier's last match in the national team. In total, Wim Suurbier played 60 matches for the Netherlands national team, in which he scored 3 goals.

Personal life[change | change source]

During his football career, Suurbier was known for his jokes and pranks. At the 1974 World Cup, he and Ruud Krol regularly performed acts for TV such as the duo Snabbel en Babbel.

In 2005 the municipality of Amsterdam named the Wim Suurbier Bridge after him.

On April 25, 2020, he suffered a brain haemorrhage. On July 12, 2020, he died as a result of this.

Honours[change | change source]




References[change | change source]

  1. "Wim Suurbier – International Appearances". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.
  2. Zwei Schalker kamen bisher zu WM-Finalehren Archived 14 June 2010 at the Wayback Machine. Schalke04.de. Retrieved on 5 June 2017.
  3. UEFA.com. "UEFA Champions League - Matches". UEFA.com. Retrieved 15 November 2022.
  4. "FIFA World Cup All-Star Team – Football world Cup All Star Team". Football.sporting99.com. Archived from the original on 30 June 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2012.

Other websites[change | change source]