Patrick Kluivert is the Dutch national team all-time leading goalscorer with 40 goals.
Kluivert was part of Ajax’s Golden Generation of the 1990s. He made his debut in the senior team of Ajax in 1994 at the age of 18 in the Dutch Super Cup win against Feyenoord, in which he scored his first goal. The 1994–95 season saw Kluivert make his mark – along with a host of youngsters from the Ajax youth academy, including Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf, and Edwin van der Sar – on the European stage with a triumph in the UEFA Champions League. Kluivert came off the bench to score an 85th minute winner in the 1995 Champions League Final against A.C. Milan in Vienna, Austria. He soon became Ajax’s “Golden Boy” of the mid-90s, leading the Ajax front-line as the side claimed several pieces of silverware during that period.
He declined a new contract to leave for Milan on a Bosman transfer in 1997, by which time he had scored 39 goals from 70 games in the Dutch league over three seasons. His career at A.C. Milan started well, when he scored a sensational goal against Juventus in a friendly match. After scoring only six goals in the Serie A, he left for FC Barcelona.
On 28 August 1998, an hour before the transfer deadline, Kluivert signed a four-year contract with FC Barcelona for a fee of £8.75 million. Kluivert was reunited with Louis van Gaal, a mentor from his days at Ajax. Kluivert formed a successful partnership with Rivaldo, which enabled Barça to defend the Spanish La Liga in 1998–99. The following season was also a successful one for Kluivert. Although Barcelona failed to win a third consecutive league title, Kluivert finished the season as the club’s top scorer with 15 league goals. He was released from Barcelona in the summer of 2004. He scored 90 league goals in his time with the club, leaving him as the 6th (sixth) all time top-scorer for the club in La Liga.
Kluivert joined Newcastle United in 2004, despite scoring 13 goals in his debut season, Newcastle finished the league in the bottom half which triggered a clause in his contract saying either party could decide not to extend his contract a further year. Patrick had another two short spells with Valencia, Lille and PSV.
Kluivert will be remembered for rising to the occasion in front of partisan home crowds, scoring five goals in as many games, jointly claiming the Golden Boot with Savo Milošević.