Giovanni van Bronckhorst
|Full name||Giovanni Christiaan van Bronckhorst|
|Date of birth||5 February 1975|
|Place of birth||Rotterdam, Netherlands|
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Playing position||Left back
|2003–2004||→ Barcelona (loan)||34||(1)|
|2010–2011||Netherlands U-21 (assistant manager)|
|2011–||Feyenoord (assistant manager)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Giovanni Christiaan van Bronckhorst OON (Dutch pronunciation: [dʒijoːˈvɑni vɑmˈbrɔŋkɦɔrst]; born 5 February 1975 in Rotterdam), known as Gio in Spain, is a retired Dutch footballer of Moluccan (Indonesia) descent who served as the captain of the Dutch national team from August 2008 until his retirement.
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 against his old club Arsenal F.C., having played every Champions League match for Barcelona that season.
He has earned over 100 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 
Childhood and early career 
Van Bronckhorst was born in Rotterdam to Victor van Bronckhorst, an Indonesian-Dutch and Fransien Sapulette, a Moluccan mother. 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. In 1990, aged 15, the club offered him a professional contract, which he accepted. He won the Dutch Youth League with Feyenoord in 1991, but struggled to break into the first team. 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. 1995–96 was his breakthrough season, as he started almost every game for Feyenoord, playing alongside the likes of Regi Blinker and Henrik Larsson.
He also made his debut for the national Olympic team in 1996, although they failed to qualify for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. 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. He was part of the Holland squad for the 1998 World Cup, but did not play during the tournament.
Domestically, with Feyenoord failing to break the PSV-Ajax strangehold 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. 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, 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. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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. He won the La Liga title with Barça in the 2004–05 season after some of his finest displays together with 4 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, as opposed to 'Bronckhorst' from his time at Arsenal. He said on Dutch Football program Studio Voetbal, that he could return to Feyenoord due to a contract clause that allows him to sign immediately with the club he supported as a boy.
On 21 August 2007, van Bronckhorst's contract with Barça ended and he subsequently joined up with Feyenoord for the second time in his career. Since joining, van Bronckhorst has become a pivotal member of the Eredivisie team's squad, most recently 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 has since gone on to earn over 100 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 leftback Arthur Numan.
Euro 2004 
However later national team coaches appreciated van Bronckhorst's leftback 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.
In his international careers he began and finished it in the same stadium.
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 
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.
2010 World Cup 
He was included in the preliminary squad for the tournament, 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. 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. Van Bronckhorst's final game for the Netherlands and as a professional footballer came in the World Cup Final against Spain, 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. Despite ending the tournament as runners-up, Van Bronckhorst stated that he was proud of what the team had achieved.
International goals 
|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 2009/2010 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. Feyenoord finished the season second behind Ajax, qualifying for 2012/2013 UEFA Champions League.
Career statistics 
|Club performance||League||Cup||League Cup||Continental||Total|
|Netherlands||League||KNVB Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Scotland||League||Scottish Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|1998–99||Rangers||Scottish Premier League||35||7||5||1||4||0||9||2||53||10|
|England||League||FA Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|2001–02||Arsenal||FA Premier League||21||1||2||0||3||0||7||0||33||1|
|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|
|Netherlands||League||KNVB Cup||League Cup||Europe||Total|
|Netherlands national team|
Awards and honours 
National team 
- Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau (2010)
- "Giovanni van Bronckhorst". Football Database. Archived from the original on 11 March 2007. Retrieved 16 August 2009.
- Autobiography entry: The Early Years 1975–1990 – Giovanni van Bronkhorst Official Site
- Autobiography entry: Making it at Feyenoord 1990–1996 – Giovanni van Bronkhorst Official Site
- Autobiography entry:Playing for Holland 1996–1998 – Giovanni van Bronkhorst Official Site
- 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.
- McGinty, Karl (23 July 1998). "Shelbourne's braves left heartbroken". Irish Independent. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "Arsenal sign van Bronckhorst". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 20 June 2001. Retrieved 26 May 2012.
- "Gio could be key to Arsenal glory". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 13 August 2001. Retrieved 9 March 2009.
- Hodges, Andy (27 August 2003). "Barcelona complete van Bronckhorst loan deal". London: The Independent. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- "Bronckhorst completes Barca switch". CNN. 25 May 2004. Retrieved 3 February 2010.
- (Dutch) "Gespeelde wedstrijden". KNVB. Retrieved 2007-05-16.
- "Van Bronckhorst named Dutch captain". FIFA. 20 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- "van Marwijk trims Dutch squad to 27". AFP. 15 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-18.
- "Holland coach Bert van Marwijk finalises World Cup squad". The Guardian. Press Association. 27 May 2010. Retrieved 2010-05-27.
- "Top ten WC goals". Sky Sports. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- "Goal of the Tournament". FIFA. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
- "Gio wants fairytale ending". Sky Sports. 10 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
- "Gio proud in defeat". Sky Sports. 12 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-13.
- "Feyenoord appoint Koeman". ESPN Soccernet. 21 July 2011. Retrieved 2011-07-21.
- "Ajax end on high, Feyenoord net UCL". ESPN Soccernet. 6 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-05-23.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Giovanni van Bronckhorst|
- Van Bronckhorst at FC Barcelona English Speaking Supporters Fansite
- Voetbal International profile
- Giovanni van Bronckhorst – FIFA competition record
- National Football Teams
- Giovanni van Bronckhorst profile and stats at Wereld van Oranje (Dutch)
- - Official Website