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Cool, stylish and pure class
Member Name: huggy2009
Advantages: Poise, grace, skill, purpose, calm head, great touch = World Class Footballer
Disadvantages: occasional red cards, fear of flying
Dennis Nicolaas Maria Bergkamp was born in 1969 in Amsterdam, his parents named him after the Manchester United Striker, Denis Law, but unfortunately added the extra N.
Bergkamp as an Amsterdammer was introduced to the world famous Ajax Youth team at the age of 12 and developed through the ranks, although most coaches considered him too weak to have the potential of a footballer, Johann Cruyff, Ajax's most famous son and a man who understood true footballing class could see something in Dennis from a young age and implored coaches to allow him to develop.
Bergkamp came through and started to get first team appearances around the time Guillit, Rijkaard and Van Basten left for AC Milan. In his time with the club he won Dutch footballer of the year twice, won the Dutch League, the UEFA cup and the Dutch cup, he scored 122 goals in 239 games and was rewarded with a move to Inter Milan for £12m with his team mate, Wim Jonk.
Unfortunately Italian football and Bergkamp never hit it off, although he would give Italian defences some fearful pastings in European games in the future. The reason he was unsuccessful was partly due to his own failure to adapt to the environment, but more because he was played as a lone striker in a defensive team, he did not have the strength or pace to manage the whole attack on his own and it became clear that Bergkamp would be at his best as a player behind the striker or in tandem with a pacy forward.
Arsenal pulled him from his Italian slumber in 1995 for £7.5m and he slowly made a name for himself in tandem with the prolific Ian Wright who considered him the best player he played with. Following the arrival of Arsene Wenger, Bergkamp played with Wright and with a pacy young striker named Nicolas Anelka, their partnership was fruitful as was an awesome partnership with Thierry Henry, during Bergkamps time at Arsenal he won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups and became something of a hero to the clubs fans and an ambassador for the Premier League in showing that World Class talent could flourish in the rough, fast paced English environment.
Bergkamp was a sublime footballer, skillful with both feet, controlling a ball with precision, as his wonderful goal against Argentina in the World Cup proved, he was also a good goalscorer and a beautiful goalscorer, managing to win 1-2 and 3 in the goal of the month competition one month through pure innovative class.
Bergkamp as well as being a good footballer had learnt to look after himself due to being small when he was younger and really could put his elbows in or make a bad challenge when necessary and picked up plenty of suspensions due to this.
The only criticism Arsenal fans could ever have of the great man was his fear of flying which meant he would miss many away games in Europe and Arsenal missed him terribly, but he is still considered a legend at the club and 87 goals in 316 games before his retirement are testament to this.
Bergkamp also scored 36 goals in 79 internationals his most memorable moment being the aforementioned goal against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup with one of the greatest goals ever seen, he never won honours with the national team playing in divided or transitional teams, but is synonomous with classy football.
Bergkamp retired from Arsenal with a standing ovation and is now a coach at Ajax where he is passing on his own knowledge to kids.
A truly awesome player who made the English Premier League more cultured and entertaining with his icy temperament and stylish play, for me he is simply an unforgettable footballer.
Summary: Cool, stylish and pure class