Dennis Bergkamp has been described by Jan Mulder as having “the finest technique” of any Dutch international and a “dream for a striker” by teammate Thierry Henry.
He was spotted by Ajax at the age of 11 and made his professional debut in 1986. Good form led to an international call-up a year later, attracting the attention of several European clubs. Bergkamp signed for Italian club Internazionale in 1993 where he had two disappointing seasons, before joining Arsenal in 1995.
It was at Arsenal where Bergkamp rejuvenated his career, helping the club to win three Premier League titles, four FA Cup trophies and reach the 2006 UEFA Champions League Final, which marked his last appearance as a player. With the Netherlands national team, Bergkamp surpassed Faas Wilkes’s record to become the Netherlands’ top goalscorer of all time in 1998, later surpassed by Patrick Kluivert.
Bergkamp was selected by Pele as one of the FIFA 100 greatest living players and is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in his generation. In 2007, he was inducted into the FIFA Hall of Fame, the first and so far only Dutch player ever to receive such honour. Bergkamp has also finished third in the FIFA World Player of the Year award twice. Due to his fear of flying, Bergkamp has been affectionately nicknamed the Non-Flying Dutchman by Arsenal supporters.
Dennis Bergkamp Tribute Video
Bergkamp goal at Newcastle
Bergkamp at Arsenal TV