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Dennis Nicolaas Maria Bergkamp (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈdɛnəs ˈbɛrxkɑmp] ( listen); born 10 May 1969) is a former Dutch professional footballer, who is the assistant manager at Ajax. Originally a wide midfielder, Bergkamp was moved to main striker and then to second striker, where he remained throughout his playing career. 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.
The son of an electrician, Bergkamp was born in Amsterdam and played as an amateur in the lower leagues. He was spotted by Ajax at age 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. After joining Arsenal in 1995, he 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 country’s top goalscorer of all time in 1998, a record later eclipsed by Patrick Kluivert, Robin van Persie and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest players in his generation, Bergkamp finished third twice in the FIFA World Player of the Year award and was selected by Pelé as one of the FIFA 100 greatest living players. In 2007, he was inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame, the first and so far only Dutch player ever to receive such honour. Due to his fear of flying, Bergkamp has been affectionately nicknamed the “Non-Flying Dutchman” by Arsenal supporters.
In 2017, Bergkamp’s famous goal against Newcastle was voted as the best Premier League goal of all time in its 25 year history.