The Flying Dutchman

Dennis Bergkamp hoists the Premier Leagu trophy.

Dennis Hoists the Premier League trophy.

Dennis Bergkamp was born in 1969 in Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Dennis began his professional career at age 12, coming up through the famous youth program at Ajax Football Club in Amsterdam. He eventually worked his way into the first team, helping to lead Ajax to the Dutch league title in 1990 and the UEFA cup in 1992. From 1991 to 1993 Dennis became the top scorer in Eredivisie, also winning the player of the year award in ’92 and ’93. After his rise to prominence at his hometown club, Bergkamp eventually led to a move to Inter Milan in the summer of 1993. At Inter however, Dennis’ form in Holland did not seem to follow him to Italy. His trouble to settle into the Italian league was no helped with his less than amicable relationship with the Italian press.

After two frustrating season at Inter, Dennis Bergkamp was brought to North London to play for Arsenal in the summer of 1995 following a £7.5 million transfer. It would not be long before Dennis would endear himself into the hearts of Arsenal fans around the world with his dazzling dribbling and silky touch. Dennis made his league debut for the Gunners on August 19, 1995 against Middlesbrough. It took only seven games for the Dutchman to notch his first goal the Arsenal in a game against Southampton. Bergkamp really started to hit his stride shortly after the arrival of Arsene Wenger at the helm of Arsenal. Bergkamp played a key role in Arsenal’s double winning season in 1997-1998 and in the same season Bergkamp was voted PFA Player of the Year. One memory from that season that must stand above all is Dennis’ hat trick at Leicester where all three of his goals came in first, second and third on Match of the Day’s goal of the month, the only player ever to achieve such a feat. Dennis continued to play for club and country until he retired from football after the Champion’s league final of 2006. Throughout his illustrious career at Arsenal FC, Bergkamp helped lead the Gunners to victories in both the FA cup and the Barclay’s Premier League. Dennis was a member and interregnal part of the infamous 2002 squad or “The Invincibles” who managed to go the entire season without losing a match, an achievement never before accomplished in modern football. Over the span of his time at Arsenal, Bergkamp managed 120 goals in 424 appearances. Dennis managed another 166 assists during his time at Highbury, making him the all time leading goal creater at Arsenal.

After Dennis retired, he turned down a chance to become an Arsenal scout, opting instead to go back to his hometown club of Ajax and work with Marco Van Basten as a trainee, setting himself up to jump into the world of management at some point in the future. All of us at The Gooner Forum would like to wish Dennis and Ajax the best of luck next season as Dennis officially begins the next chapter of his life. Dennis, you are forever an Arsenal legend. May you succeed in everything you do.

Triplec1988, Proud member of The Gooner Forum.

Don’t forget to join us at The Gooner Forum and have your say on a things Arsenal.

17 Responses to The Flying Dutchman

  1. Gooner Chris says:

    Great Tribute. 😀

  2. colin says:

    my favourite all time arsenal football player

  3. jim says:

    How amazing was Dennis!!!
    Wow. A true genius!

  4. bennyboy says:

    I grew up in ireland and as a young football fan (not from a particular region) I avoided the lure of man u and the pool as they were successful. I loved great footballing sides and always admired these sides but could never support them (they just didn’t do it for me). The irish league wasn’t important as anyone with talent went across the channel to the UK. Denis Berkamp was my man. He is the reason I support arsenal. As my peers pressured me into supporting a premier league team… my favourite team as i grew up was…. oldham athelic, as i loved the fact that they were up against the best and prevailed in the cup (in fact they were 2nd division at the time) at a time when everyone around me was presuring me to support an english top flight team. I had allready witnessed the gooners get the title at anfield and again as an underdogs supporter had been proud of the event, but now when i look back i see it as a major time in my life. Dennis to me was unbelievable, if he could fly then arsenal would be a european heavyweight (more than an appreciated footballing side) (no disprespect to those who will disagree about our standing in europe). I have loved arsenal since the day that bruce rioch signed Denis and am thankful that we have had Arsene since then as I love our total footbal, and as an underdog fan i feel even more strongly about our standing than anyone around me. I am a gooner true and true and will be to the day I die, denis drew me here, arsene has kept entrailed and no matter what happens from here on in I’ll be a gooner forever.

  5. meandyou says:

    dennis. wow he was our greatest ever palyer, he is a legend the dutch man with his skills touch professionialism, i hope he does well with ajax

  6. Timothy Cheo says:

    Yupz, Dennis Bergkamp, together with a handful of other players (Cantona, Zola, Le Tissier, and maybe Di Canio) to have grace the Premiership, is truly deserving of the term “genius”…

  7. bergy_nj says:

    All these comments about him, that makes him a real legend. He is respected for his professionalism, and also his sublime skills that lift the game to another level. He is the person who makes me loves football, and Arsenal. In my life, i’ve never seen a football player have such ability, yet still can keep himself on the ground. He is the player that stays by keep on extending 1 year contract from 32 (Wenger’s policy) until the end of his career… what a character, what a legend.. I wish him all the best for his coaching role at Ajax.

    – World Cup ’98 – Holland vs Argentina – Min 88-89 – Football moment that i always remember…..

  8. g0on3r says:

    i have to say, the headline seems to be a bit off. bergkamp don’t fly. i wonder if he could participate in more away matches in champion league competition, arsenal could have gone really far in many occasions. i also didn’t know he held the all time leading goal creater for arsenal. he assist more than he score, that’s amazing but weird for a forward. nvm, he still my all time favourite player.

  9. aditya says:

    u were god!!!!!! dennis when evr in life u steped on the pitch for arsenal u were the best and u made the wengerball work u its best to were just terrific .become the next wenger 4 us again and bring were v should be. god bless u

  10. kiwipete says:

    he was a member of the 2002 ….INFAMOUS …..squad nothing infamous about that team

  11. Nirgoon says:

    Bergkamp was a absolute star. We don’t forget people like that. The amazing goals he scored like the goals against Newcastle or Leicester we don’t forget. We wish him lots of luck in his coaching at Ajax. It was so sad when he left us. I actually nearly cried. And I never cry. We’ll miss you, Dennis. He was a Dutch Legend

  12. jrock says:

    Genius!! my favourate at arsenal.I pray he becomes our manager when wenger retires.

  13. Rick says:

    Awsome player. I miss him.

  14. natsteel says:

    Without a doubt, for me, the greatest Arsenal player I’ve ever seen. Bergkamp is the reason I started supporting the club back in the mid-late’90s. And for that, I am eternally grateful. Dennis was what every young footballer should aspire to be… technical and intelligent.

    One of the things I ended up admiring the most about him was when he got a bit older he changed his game. From 2001 or so on, I’ve never seen a better passer of the ball and probably never will. When he lost a half step, he focused more on his passing and that kind of versatility is what being a true professional is all about.

    Dennis gave me moments that I will remember for the rest of my life with great joy i.e. the goal against Newcastle, the pass against Juventus, the hat-trick at Leicester, the World Cup goals, and the list goes on and on.

    Absolutely my favorite player of all time.

  15. dennis_10 says:

    2002- double season
    2004- invincibles

    get it right son!

    There’s only 1 Dennis Bergkamp…

  16. dan says:

    yeah, so i’m a hotspur fan. so you think i’m scum.

    but i have to say, i have always been jealous of you guys for having bergkamp. not cuz of the frenchies henry, pires or vieria. but because of dennis.

    that turn-around move against new castle is probably THE best i have ever seen.

    happy euro

  17. Kevin says:

    Dennis is indeed splendid. Hopefully Nasri will be our next Dennis if Arsene gets to sign him, also is time for R.V.Persie to improve a little and get lesser injuries and be the next Dennis Bergkamp.

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