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Giovanni van Bronckhorst

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Title: Giovanni van Bronckhorst  
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Subject: 2000–01 Rangers F.C. season, Rafael van der Vaart, Edwin van der Sar, 2010 FIFA World Cup knockout stage, John Heitinga
Collection: 1975 Births, 1998 Fifa World Cup Players, 2006 Fifa World Cup Players, 2010 Fifa World Cup Players, Arsenal F.C. Players, Association Football Utility Players, Dutch Expatriate Footballers, Dutch Expatriates in England, Dutch Expatriates in Scotland, Dutch Expatriates in Spain, Dutch Football Managers, Dutch Footballers, Dutch People of Indonesian Descent, Dutch People of Moluccan Descent, Eredivisie Players, Expatriate Footballers in England, Expatriate Footballers in Scotland, Expatriate Footballers in Spain, Fc Barcelona Players, Feyenoord Players, Fifa Century Club, Indo People, Knights of the Order of Orange-Nassau, La Liga Players, Living People, Netherlands International Footballers, Premier League Players, Rangers F.C. Players, Rkc Waalwijk Players, Scottish Premier League Players, Sportspeople from Rotterdam, Uefa Euro 2000 Players, Uefa Euro 2004 Players, Uefa Euro 2008 Players
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Giovanni van Bronckhorst

Giovanni van Bronckhorst
Van Bronckhorst pictured in 2012
Personal information
Full name Giovanni Christiaan van Bronckhorst[1]
Date of birth (1975-02-05) 5 February 1975
Place of birth Rotterdam, Netherlands
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Midfielder / Left back
Club information
Current team
Feyenoord (manager)
Youth career
1981–1982 LMO Rotterdam
1982–1993 Feyenoord
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1993–1998 Feyenoord 103 (22)
1993–1994 RKC Waalwijk (loan) 12 (2)
1998–2001 Rangers 73 (13)
2001–2004 Arsenal 42 (2)
2003–2004 Barcelona (loan) 34 (1)
2004–2007 Barcelona 71 (4)
2007–2010 Feyenoord 88 (8)
Total 422 (52)
National team
1996–2010 Netherlands 106 (6)
Teams managed
2010–2011 Netherlands U-21 (assistant manager)
2011–2015 Feyenoord (assistant manager)
2015– Feyenoord

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (goals)

Giovanni Christiaan van Bronckhorst OON (Dutch pronunciation: ; born 5 February 1975 in Rotterdam), known as Gio in Spain, is a retired Dutch footballer and the current manager at Feyenoord. Formerly a midfielder, he moved to left back later in his career.

During his club career, Van Bronckhorst played for RKC Waalwijk (1993–94), Feyenoord (1994–98), Rangers (1998–2001), Arsenal (2001–03), FC Barcelona (2003–07), and again Feyenoord (2007–10). He was an instrumental player in Barcelona's 2005–06 UEFA Champions League victory, being in the starting line-up of the 2005–06 UEFA Champions League final against his old club Arsenal, having played every Champions League match for Barcelona that season.

He earned 106 caps for the Dutch national team, and played for his country in three World Cups (1998, 2006 and 2010), as well as three European Championships (2000, 2004, and 2008). After captaining the Oranje through the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final, he was elected into the Order of Orange-Nassau.


  • Club career 1
    • Childhood and early career 1.1
    • Rangers 1.2
    • Arsenal 1.3
    • Barcelona 1.4
    • Return to Feyenoord 1.5
  • International career 2
    • Euro 2004 2.1
    • 2006 World Cup 2.2
    • Euro 2008 2.3
    • 2010 World Cup 2.4
    • International goals 2.5
  • Managerial career 3
  • Career statistics 4
  • Honours 5
    • Club 5.1
    • International 5.2
    • Personal 5.3
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Club career

Childhood and early career

Van Bronckhorst was born in Rotterdam to Victor van Bronckhorst, an Indonesian-Dutch and Fransien Sapulette, a Moluccan mother.[2] He began playing for a local amateur youth team in Rotterdam, Linker Maas Oever from the age of 6, joining the youth academy at Feyenoord the following year.[2] In 1990, aged 15, the club offered him a professional contract, which he accepted.[2] He won the Dutch Youth League with Feyenoord in 1991, but struggled to break into the first team.[3] He was loaned out to RKC Waalwijk, making his league debut in 1993. He returned to Feyenoord for the 1994–95 season, but was used as a fringe player, making only ten appearances for the club.[3] 1995–96 was his breakthrough season, as he started almost every game for Feyenoord, playing alongside the likes of Regi Blinker and Henrik Larsson.[3]

He also made his debut for the national Olympic team in 1996, although they failed to qualify for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.[3] He was given his first full international cap in August 1996, being given a starting place by Guus Hiddink in the Oranje's lineup to face Brazil in a friendly at the Amsterdam Arena.[4] He was part of the Netherlands squad for the 1998 World Cup, but did not play during the tournament.[4]

Domestically, with Feyenoord failing to break the PSV-Ajax stranglehold on the Eredivisie for the fourth year in a row, and major players such as Larsson leaving the team, Van Bronckhorst began to search for a new club.[4] He chose to join up with Dick Advocaat (his former manager at international U-16 and U-18 level) at Rangers, joining the club in 1998, with fees reported to be £5 million,[5] and £5.5 million.


Van Bronckhorst was already a regular international when he signed for Rangers in 1998, joining up with compatriot Dick Advocaat, the Scottish club's new manager. In his first competitive game for Rangers, a remarkable UEFA Cup tie away to League of Ireland side Shelbourne (although played at Tranmere Rovers' Prenton Park), Van Bronckhorst marked his debut with a finely-struck goal, as Rangers came back from 3–0 down to win the match 5–3.[6] Van Bronckhorst went on to score 22 goals for Rangers (13 in the league, three in the Scottish Cup, one in the Scottish League Cup, three in the Champions League and two in the UEFA Cup), mostly as a play-making midfielder of notable skill and subtlety, before joining Arsenal for a fee of £8.5 million, signing a five-year contract.[7]


Arsène Wenger had signed Van Bronckhorst to replace the midfield void, left by the departure of Emmanuel Petit from Arsenal, and he was expected to partner Patrick Vieira in the centre.[8] However, his period at Arsenal was marked by a cruciate knee ligament injury, which saw him sidelined after only a few months at the club. He did however make 21 league appearances as Arsenal won the 2001–02 Premier League.[9]


As the 2003–04 season approached, Van Bronckhorst had the opportunity to move to FC Barcelona and work with new boss Frank Rijkaard on a one-year loan, with a view to a permanent transfer.[10] After adapting to his new role as a left-back, he helped Barça to a revival in the second half of the season. In May 2004, Van Bronckhorst completed his move from Arsenal to Barcelona for a fee of €2 million, signing a three-year deal.[11] He won the La Liga title with Barça in the 2004–05 season after some of his finest displays together with four goals to his credit. In 2005–06, he helped his club repeat as Liga champions while winning the 2006 Champions League as well (he was the only player who participated in all Champions League matches that season). In Spain, he used 'Gio' as the name on his shirt.[12]

Return to Feyenoord

Van Bronckhorst at Feyenoord

Van Bronckhorst had a year remaining on his Barcelona contract in 2007, but returned to Feyenoord on 27 June 2007 due to a clause in his contract saying he could join that team for free.[12]

He became a pivotal member of the Eredivisie team's squad, proving to be something of a rock in an injury-hit side. At the beginning of his first season in Rotterdam, coach Bert van Marwijk made Van Bronckhorst captain.

International career

Giovanni van Bronckhorst made his national team debut in August 1996 at the FNB Stadium (now known as Soccer City) in a match against South Africa and went on to earn 106 caps, including three World Cup and three Euro campaigns. He did not appear in the 1998 World Cup and only saw limited action in Euro 2000 as cover for left-back Arthur Numan. He began and finished his international career in the same stadium.

Euro 2004

However, later national team coaches appreciated Van Bronckhorst's left-back capabilities, most notably Dick Advocaat who played him for the Netherlands in the Euro 2004 competition in Portugal. The Dutch team reached the semi-finals of the tournament when the host team, Portugal, eliminated them.

Van Bronckhorst as captain of the Netherlands.

2006 World Cup

He was a regular in the national team for the 2006 World Cup qualification campaign. However, in the Round of 16 match against Portugal (see Battle of Nuremberg), he received a red card in a match that saw four red cards given, a World Cup record. There was an unusual scene in which Van Bronckhorst was sitting in the stands next to his FC Barcelona teammate at the time, Deco of Portugal who had also been sent off.

Euro 2008

Giovanni van Bronckhorst scored the winning goal in a Euro 2008 qualifying match against Slovenia on 28 March 2007. The Netherlands won the match 1–0.[13]

On 9 June 2008, while playing in a 3–0 victory over Italy in UEFA Euro 2008, he assisted in the second goal scored by the Netherlands and also scored the third goal, after running all the way from the back. For the second goal, he first cleared the ball off his own line and ran deep into the Italian half, then received the ball and crossed it to Dirk Kuyt who headed it down to Wesley Sneijder to slot between the post and the advancing Gianluigi Buffon. He later even scored another one himself to condemn the world champions to an embarrassing defeat. Prior to Euro 2008, captain Edwin Van der Sar had announced his intention to retire from international football after the tournament and played his last game as captain in the 3–1 quarter-final loss to Russia, Van Bronckhorst was selected to succeed the goalkeeper as captain of the national team.[14]

Giovanni van Bronckhorst (right) with (FLTR: Mark van Bommel, Gregory van der Wiel, and Demy de Zeeuw).

2010 World Cup

He was included in the preliminary squad for the tournament,[15] and on 27 May 2010, Netherlands manager Bert van Marwijk announced that he would be part of the final squad of 23, and would serve as the team captain.[16] In the semi-final against Uruguay he scored the opening goal of the match, which the Netherlands won 3–2. The powerful long range strike, which rose into Fernando Muslera's top left-hand corner, is widely considered to be one of the best goals in World Cup history.[17][18] Van Bronckhorst's final game for the Netherlands and as a professional footballer came in the World Cup Final against Spain,[19] he was replaced in the 105th minute by Edson Braafheid with the score 0–0, only for Andrés Iniesta to condemn the Dutch to a defeat, scoring the only goal of the game in the 116th minute. After ending the tournament as runners-up, Van Bronckhorst stated that he was proud of what the team had achieved.[20]

International goals

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1. 4 June 1997 Johannesburg, South Africa  South Africa 0–1 0–2 Friendly match
2. 2 September 2000 Amsterdam, Netherlands  Republic of Ireland 2–2 2–2 World Cup 2002 qualifier
3. 12 February 2003 Amsterdam, Netherlands  Argentina 1–0 1–0 Friendly match
4. 28 March 2007 Celje, Slovenia  Slovenia 0–1 0–1 Euro 2008 qualifier
5. 9 June 2008 Bern, Switzerland  Italy 3–0 3–0 UEFA Euro 2008
6. 6 July 2010 Cape Town, South Africa  Uruguay 1–0 3–2 2010 FIFA World Cup

Managerial career

Having retired at the end of the 2009–10 season prior to the 2010 World Cup, it was announced on 21 July 2011 that Van Bronckhorst would assist newly appointed Feyenoord manager Ronald Koeman, alongside fellow ex-Feyenoord player Jean-Paul van Gastel.[21] Feyenoord finished the season second behind Ajax, qualifying for the 2012–13 UEFA Champions League.[22] On 23 March 2015 it was announced that Van Bronckhorst will be the new manager of Feyenoord after Fred Rutten leaves at the end of that season.[23]

Career statistics

Club performance League Cup League Cup Continental Total
Season Club League Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Netherlands League KNVB Cup League Cup Europe Total
1993–94 RKC Waalwijk Eredivisie 12 2 12 2
1994–95 Feyenoord 10 1 10 1
1995–96 27 9 1 0 7 0 35 9
1996–97 34 4 1 1 6 0 41 5
1997–98 32 8 8 2 40 10
Scotland League Scottish Cup League Cup Europe Total
1998–99 Rangers Scottish Premier League 35 7 5 1 4 0 9 2 53 10
1999–2000 27 4 5 2 1 0 12 0 45 6
2000–01 11 2 1 1 7 3 19 6
England League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
2001–02 Arsenal FA Premier League 21 1 2 0 3 0 7 0 33 1
2002–03 20 1 5 0 1 0 4 0 30 1
2003–04 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1* 0
Spain League Copa del Rey Copa de la Liga Europe Total
2003–04 (loan) Barcelona La Liga 34 1 5 0 4 0 43 1
2004–05 29 4 1 0 8 0 38 4
2005–06 19 0 4 1 13 0 36 1
2006–07 23 0 6 1 1 0 6 0 36 1
Netherlands League KNVB Cup League Cup Europe Total
2007–08 Feyenoord Eredivisie 32 7 6 0 38 7
2008–09 27 1 5 0 1 0 5 1 38 2
2009–10 29 0 4 2 33 2
Country Netherlands 203 32 16 3 2 0 26 3 247 38
Scotland 73 13 10 3 6 1 28 5 117 22
England 41 2 7 0 4 0 11 0 64 2
Spain 105 5 16 2 1 0 31 0 153 7
Total 422 52 49 8 13 1 96 8 581 69
Netherlands national team
Year Apps Goals
1996 3 0
1997 4 1
1998 1 0
1999 6 0
2000 7 1
2001 4 0
2002 1 0
2003 6 1
2004 13 0
2005 9 0
2006 9 0
2007 10 1
2008 14 1
2009 9 0
2010 10 1
Total 106 6


Giovanni van Bronckhorst (front) with John Heitinga, Khalid Boulahrouz, and Phillip Cocu in 2010.






  1. ^ "FIFA World Cup South Africa 2010: List of Players" (PDF). FIFA. 4 June 2010. p. 20. Retrieved 20 April 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c Autobiography entry: The Early Years 1975–1990 – Giovanni van Bronkhorst Official Site
  3. ^ a b c d Autobiography entry: Making it at Feyenoord 1990–1996 – Giovanni van Bronkhorst Official Site
  4. ^ a b c Autobiography entry:Playing for Holland 1996–1998 – Giovanni van Bronkhorst Official Site
  5. ^ Broadfoot, Darryl (15 July 1998). "Van Bronckhorst and Charbonnier join Ibrox revolution with another deal due today Advocaat's team shapes up with two new signings". The Herald. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  6. ^ McGinty, Karl (23 July 1998). "Shelbourne's braves left heartbroken". Irish Independent. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  7. ^ "Arsenal sign van Bronckhorst". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 20 June 2001. Retrieved 26 May 2012. 
  8. ^ "Gio could be key to Arsenal glory".  
  9. ^ "Games played by Giovanni van Bronckhorst in 2001/2002". Soccerbase. Retrieved 17 November 2013. 
  10. ^ Hodges, Andy (27 August 2003). "Barcelona complete van Bronckhorst loan deal". London:  
  11. ^ "Bronckhorst completes Barca switch".  
  12. ^ a b "VAN BRONCKHORST WANTS TO WIN THINGS AT FEYENOORD". Feyenoord. 27 June 2007. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  13. ^ "Gespeelde wedstrijden" (in Nederlands). KNVB. Retrieved 2007-05-16. 
  14. ^ "Van Bronckhorst named Dutch captain". FIFA. 20 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  15. ^ "van Marwijk trims Dutch squad to 27". AFP. 15 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-18. 
  16. ^ "Holland coach Bert van Marwijk finalises World Cup squad". The Guardian. Press Association. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-27. 
  17. ^ "Top ten WC goals". Sky Sports. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  18. ^ "Goal of the Tournament". FIFA. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  19. ^ "Gio wants fairytale ending". Sky Sports. 10 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  20. ^ "Gio proud in defeat". Sky Sports. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-13. 
  21. ^ "Feyenoord appoint Koeman". ESPN Soccernet. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-21. 
  22. ^ "Ajax end on high, Feyenoord net UCL". ESPN Soccernet. 6 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  23. ^ "Giovanni van Bronckhorst: Feyenoord confirm new boss". BBC Sport. 23 March 2015. Retrieved 23 March 2015. 
  24. ^ Giovanni van Bronckhorst at
  25. ^

External links

  • Van Bronckhorst at FC Barcelona English Speaking Supporters Fansite
  • Voetbal International profile
  • Giovanni van Bronckhorst – FIFA competition record
  • Giovanni van Bronckhorst at
  • Giovanni van Bronckhorst profile and stats at Wereld van Oranje (Dutch)
  • Official website
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Edwin van der Sar
Netherlands captain
Succeeded by
Mark van Bommel
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