marco van basten
marco van basten

Marco van Basten will reach the respectable age of 55 on Thursday. Line 54 thinks it’s a good time to look back at his ten best goals.

It is not often the case that two columnists from Het Parool address the exact same sports topic, but that is still the case in Wednesday’s newspaper. Both James Worthy and Maarten Moll devote their column to Hakim Ziyech, who played his umpteenth master match in the Ajax shirt against Feyenoord on Sunday.

James Worthy writes: ‘Ziyech takes a run-in and shows the entire stadium what curls are. He does not kick the ball, no, he calls the air. The keeper does dive, but we can only hear the ball splash. Ajax plays champagne football and Feyenoord rolls across the field like cans of tuna. This is not a competition. We look at eleven people who want to play football and at eleven other people who have to play football. The Rotterdammers only seem to be here because they have lost a bet. ” You can read his entire column here.

Maarten Moll, in turn, writes about Ziyech’s reaction, after trainer Erik ten Hag pulled him to the side: ‘A fancier was taken off the field. The gravy from the plate of kale scooped. Van Gogh’s sunflowers removed from the vase. ‘ Curious about the rest of the column? You can read it here.

Incidentally, in line 54 a fierce discussion arose after the match as to who the larger football player was: Jari Litmanen or Hakim Ziyech. In the metro, they finally chose the Finn, after whom no fewer than two passengers were named.

But what do the statistics actually say?

Litmanen played 255 official duels for Ajax, in which he scored 133 times and gave 33 assists. With that, he is on average involved in 0.65 goals per match. Ziyech came into action 148 times in official matches on behalf of Ajax, managed to find the net 46 times and gave 70 assists. The Moroccan international is therefore involved in 0.78 goals per match.

That doesn’t say everything, of course, but it says a lot.