Where are they now? Ruud van Nistelrooy

Ruud van Nistelrooy & Sir Alex Ferguson

Ruud van Nistelrooy is one of the most clinical finishers I’ve ever seen in a Manchester United shirt, it’s now been over ten years since Van Nistelrooy left United, and a lots happened for the Dutchman in that time.

Van Nistelrooy was undoubtedly one of the best strikers in the world when Sir Alex Ferguson decided that it was time for the Dutchman to be moved on from the club. This was evident when the club that snapped Van Nistelrooy up was Real Madrid. The Spanish giants completed the signing of the striker for what would now be considered a bargain €14 million. Van Nistelrooy had a relatively successful time at ‘Los Blancos’ scoring 64 goals in 96 games, as well as picking up two La Liga titles and a Supercopa. In his final season in Madrid, he made just four appearances as he was plagued with injuries. Van Nistelrooy ended his Madrid nightmare on the 23rd January 2010 when he signed an 18-month contract with German club Hamburger SV.

He had a much better second half to the 2009/10 season than beginning as he found the back of the net seven times in 18 games, he saw out the second season of his contract where he played 26 times for Hamburger SV and scored 10 goals, allowing him to leave Germany with an impressive 17 goals in 44 games, not too shabby for a 34-year-old. Upon leaving the German side Van Nistelrooy decided to make one last move, and returned to Spain, arriving at Malaga and signing a one-year contract. Van Nistelrooy appeared 32 times for Malaga, scoring five times before announcing his retirement from football at the age of 35.

On the 1st August 2014, it was announced that Ruud van Nistelrooy had been appointed part of Guus Hiddink’s backroom staff for the Dutch national team. Van Nistelrooy was replacing Patrick Kluivert as one of the manager’s assistants, as he left the role when Louis Van Gaal joined Manchester United. The Netherlands had a horrific qualification campaign leading up to Euro 2016, which resulted in them failing to make the cut for the 24 team tournament. Cracks began to show early on as the team who finished third at the World Cup looked a shell of Louis Van Gaal’s team. As a result, Hiddink was sacked and replaced from within as Danny Blind was handed the managerial role. Van Nistelrooy stayed on as Blind’s assistant but on the 3rd February 2016, it was announced that he would leave his role in the national set-up to take on a full-time role as PSV Eindhoven’s striker coach for the youth teams at the start of the current season. Upon being handed this role Van Nistelrooy said:

“I’m really looking forward to my new job at PSV, where I’m going to help the young attackers maximise their potential.”

Van Nistelrooy certainly seems to be gearing up for a career in management now that his playing career is finished. He will have gained valuable experience during his two years as assistant manager to both Blind and Hiddink. He has now found himself a more stable work environment where he can work day in and day out developing the talents of the attackers in PSV’s academy, and you never know, he might just discover the next Ruud van Nistelrooy in his current role.

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