Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

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Klaas-Jan Huntelaar
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar 2011-08-03-2.jpg
Huntelaar with Schalke in 2011
Personal information
Full name Dirk Jan Klaas Huntelaar[1]
Date of birth (1983-08-12) 12 August 1983 (age 31)
Place of birth Voor-Drempt, Gelderland, Netherlands
Height 1.86 m (6 ft 1 in)
Playing position Striker
Club information
Current team
Schalke 04
Number 25
Youth career
1988–1994 VV H. en K.
1994–2000 De Graafschap
2000–2002 PSV
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2002–2004 PSV 1 (0)
2003 De Graafschap (loan) 9 (0)
2003–2004 AGOVV (loan) 35 (26)
2004–2006 Heerenveen 46 (33)
2006–2008 Ajax 92 (76)
2009 Real Madrid 20 (8)
2009–2010 Milan 25 (7)
2010– Schalke 04 107 (62)
National team
2002–2006 Netherlands U21 23 (18)
2006– Netherlands 66 (36)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18 October 2014.

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 11 October 2014

Dirk Jan Klaas "Klaas-Jan" Huntelaar (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈklaː ˈʃɑn ˈɦʏn.tə.ˌlaːr] ( ); born 12 August 1983), nicknamed The Hunter,[2] is a Dutch professional footballer who vice-captains for Schalke 04 and plays for the Netherlands national football team. Huntelaar is a prolific striker,[3] with brilliant first touch[4] and has been compared in style to players such as Marco van Basten[5] and Ruud van Nistelrooy.[6] Former Netherlands national team manager Louis van Gaal has been quoted saying about the player "in the penalty area, he is the best player in the world, bar none."[2]

Named Dutch Football Talent of the Year and Ajax "Player of the Year" in 2006, Huntelaar was a part of the Dutch side that won the 2006 UEFA U-21 Championship where he became the tournament's leading goalscorer. He was also named as one of two strikers in the UEFA Team of the Tournament. He is the all-time top scorer of the Netherlands U-21 national team with 18 goals in 22 appearances.[2] In domestic competition he finished top scorer in the Eredivisie 2005–06 and 2007–08 seasons. Huntelaar played previously for PSV, De Graafschap, AGOVV Apeldoorn, Heerenveen, Ajax, Real Madrid, and Milan,[7] before joining Schalke in August 2010, for whom he won top-goalscorer in the 2011–12 Bundesliga with 29 league goals.

Personal life[edit]

Huntelaar was born in Voor-Drempt, a village in the Achterhoek region of Netherlands, but moved to Hummelo when he was six weeks old.[8] He lived with parents Dirk-Jan and Maud Huntelaar, and his two brothers Niek and Jelle.[8] Huntelaar has been in a relationship with his girlfriend Maddy Schoolderman since 2000.[9] On 9 April 2009, the couple had their first child, a boy called Seb,[9] and on 20 July 2011, their second child Axel was born.[10]

Early career[edit]

At the age of five, Huntelaar, along with his two brothers, joined the local football team VV H. en K. where he played for the next six years.[8] He was scouted as a youth talent during this period by Go Ahead Eagles but the distance required to travel to the team's base in Deventer prevented him from joining the club.[8]

Soon after, he was scouted by De Graafschap and on 6 April 1994 he signed his first youth contract, aged 11.[8] During his first two years with De Graafschap, Huntelaar played in various positions including left wing, attacking midfield, left back, and even goalkeeper; only in his third year was he deployed as a striker.[8]

In the 1997–98 season, the 14-year-old Huntelaar was the main striker for the C-team at De Graafschap and scored 33 goals in 20 matches.[8] The following season saw him promoted to the B1 team, and in the 1999–2000 season he became top scorer of the B1 league with 31 goals.[8] His goalscoring abilities drew the attention of PSV, who subsequently signed him in June 2000.[8]

Club career[edit]

PSV[edit]

Huntelaar began his professional career at the Philips Stadion.

In his first season at PSV, Huntelaar quickly established himself as a prolific goalscorer for their A1 youth teams under coach Willy van der Kuijlen,[11] scoring 26 goals in 23 games to become top scorer in the youth league.[8] In his second season at PSV, Huntelaar was added to the senior squad under coach Guus Hiddink. He made his first team debut on 23 November 2002 in a 0–3 away win over RBC Roosendaal, coming on as a second half substitute for Mateja Kežman in the 76th minute.[12] However, this turned out to be his only appearance for PSV.

De Graafschap[edit]

By the start of 2003, it was clear that Huntelaar’s path into the first team was blocked,[13][14] therefore he was sent out on loan to his previous club De Graafschap where his uncle was financial director.[15] He made his senior debut for De Graafschap on 8 February 2003, coming on as a substitute for Hans van de Haar against Roosendaal.[16] He made his only appearance in the starting lineup on 16 February 2003 as De Graafschap were beaten 1–5 by his future employers SC Heerenveen.[17] He then made his final appearance in the team on 29 May 2003 as De Graafschap lost 2–1 to FC Zwolle, confirming their demotion from the Eredivisie.[18] In total Huntelaar made nine Eredivisie appearances for the Super Farmers, one as a starter and eight as a substitute, but was unable to score and De Graafschap decided not to extend his loan.[19]

AGOVV[edit]

At the start of the 2003–04 season, Huntelaar was again sent out on loan, this time to newly promoted Eerste Divisie side AGOVV Apeldoorn under coach Jurrie Koolhof.[20] He made a good start, scoring on his debut for AGOVV against TOP Oss,[21] and then scoring a hat-trick in his second league game against Heracles Almelo.[22] Huntelaar scored 26 goals in 35 league appearances and finished the season as the division's top goalscorer as well as being named the Eerste Divisie's Player of the Season.[23] AGOVV later went on to name one of the stands at their Sportpark Berg & Bos stadium the "Klaas-Jan Huntelaar stand" in tribute to his impact at the club.[24][25]

Heerenveen[edit]

Huntelaar with Heerenveen

At the end of his loan at AGOVV, Huntelaar turned down the opportunity to sign a new contract with PSV,[26] and Frisian club SC Heerenveen moved in to sign him.[27] Huntelaar started the 2004–05 season by scoring on his Eredivisie debut with Heerenveen against AZ[28] and took his scoring tally to 10 goals in 17 games at the winter break. At the end of the season Huntelaar had scored a total of 17 goals in 31 matches, helping Heerenveen qualify for the UEFA Cup. In the 2005–06 season, Huntelaar continued where he had left off in his first season at Heerenveen, and by the winter, he had scored 17 goals in 15 matches at which point the top Dutch clubs began vying for his signature.[29][30]

Ajax[edit]

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar with Ajax.

In January 2006 Huntelaar signed for AFC Ajax, the club he had supported as a child. Heerenveen received €9 million[31][32] plus future incentives for the player, with 15% (€1.35 million) of the fee going to PSV.[33] Huntelaar made his Ajax debut after the winter break and scored his first goal for the team on 5 February 2006, against his former club SC Heerenveen in a KNVB Cup tie.[34] During February, Huntelaar scored nine goals in seven matches for Ajax, including against Serie A club Internazionale on his UEFA Champions League debut.[35] Huntelaar ended the season as top scorer for Ajax with 16 league goals in 16 appearances despite only joining in January, and also finished up as the Eredivise's top scorer with 33 league goals.[36] He scored a total of 44 goals in 47 appearances in all club competitions. Ajax finished second in the Eredivisie and Huntelaar featured in the Eredivisie Playoffs for Champions League qualification, scoring in consecutive matches against Feyenoord[37][38] as well as playing in the victory over FC Groningen to secure Ajax's place in the following season's Champions League.[39] In the KNVB Cup semi-final, Huntelaar scored a bicycle kick equalizer in injury-time against Roda JC, taking the game to extra-time. Ajax went on to win 4–1 with Huntelaar scoring another goal in the 109th minute.[40] In the final, against his former club PSV, Huntelaar scored two goals to help Ajax win the KNVB Cup 2–1.[41] Huntelaar was named Dutch Football Talent of the Year and Ajax Player of the Year for 2005–06.[42]

Huntelaar celebrating Ajax's victory in the Dutch Cup.

In July 2006 Huntelaar became the first player to score at Arsenal's new Emirates Stadium in a testimonial match for Dennis Bergkamp.[43] He was named vice-captain of Ajax for 2006–07 in his first full season at the club.[44] Huntelaar scored two goals for Ajax in a Champions League qualifying match against FC Copenhagen to secure a 2–1 away win in the first leg, but a 2–0 home defeat in the second leg saw them knocked out of the Champions League on aggregate. Ajax went on to play in the UEFA Cup where Huntelaar scored seven goals in seven matches, including against Werder Bremen who would eliminate them in the third round. In the Eredivisie, Huntelaar scored 21 goals as Ajax again finished second, once more having to play in the Eredivisie Playoffs to claim a place in the Champions League. Huntelaar scored two goals in the second leg of the Playoffs semi-final against Heerenveen in a 4–1 aggregate win.[45] Ajax then beat AZ 4–2 on aggregate for a place in the third qualifying round of the Champions League.[46] In the KNVB Cup, Huntelaar scored four goals in six matches, including an equalizer in the final against AZ which ended in a 1–1 draw after extra-time. Huntelaar scored in the penalty shoot-out decider to help Ajax retain the KNVB Cup, winning 8–7 on penalties.[47] Huntelaar scored 36 goals in 51 games in all competitions for Ajax in 2006–07.

In 2007–08, Huntelaar partnered up front with new striking-partner Luis Suárez. However, Ajax were again knocked out of the Champions League at the qualifying stage, with Huntelaar missing a penalty in the first leg against Slavia Prague.[48] Ajax were also eliminated from the UEFA Cup by Dinamo Zagreb on away goals, with Huntelaar's two goals not enough to secure Ajax's place in the competition.[49] In the first Eredivisie match of the season, Huntelaar scored four goals in an 8–1 away victory over newly promoted De Graafschap.[50] Following the retirement of Jaap Stam in October 2007, Huntelaar was made temporary captain, pending the return of experienced midfielder Edgar Davids from injury.[51] On 6 April 2008, Huntelaar scored his 100th goal in the Eredivise with a hat-trick in Ajax's 4–1 win against De Graafschap. In the previous 25 years, only Dennis Bergkamp and Dirk Kuyt had managed that feat before their 25th birthday.[52] Huntelaar finished the season with 33 goals in 34 appearances, becoming top scorer in the Eredivisie[53] and the first Ajax player to score 30 league goals in a season for 21 years, since Marco van Basten in 1986–87.[54][55]

At the start of the 2008–09, Marco van Basten was appointed as Ajax coach and named Huntelaar as permanent first team captain.[56] Huntelaar scored nine goals in 15 appearances in all competitions before suffering torn ankle ligaments on 9 November 2008 in a league match against Sparta Rotterdam.[57] He would not play again for fully eight weeks later and it turned out to be his last game for Ajax.[58]

Real Madrid[edit]

Huntelaar playing for Real Madrid

At the start of December 2008, Real Madrid reached an agreement with Ajax to sign Huntelaar in the mid-season transfer window in January. Huntelaar joined Real Madrid in January 2009 for an initial fee thought to be worth €20 million,[59][60] potentially rising to €27 million.

Huntelaar made his debut on 4 January 2009 on his return from injury in a La Liga home match against Villarreal. He played for 56 minutes and made four further appearances as a substitute,[61] before scoring his first goal for the team on 15 February 2009 in a 0–4 away win at Sporting Gijón.[62] Madrid had planned to add both Huntelaar and fellow new signing Lassana Diarra to their 2008–09 Champions League squad, but both players had already featured in the same season's UEFA Cup for previous clubs Ajax and Portsmouth respectively. UEFA rules would allow only one of the pair to be registered[63][64] by 1 February 2009 and Diarra was selected to play in the competition.[65] Huntelaar went on to score eight goals in 20 appearances (13 starts and seven sub appearances) in just half a season at Real Madrid.[66][67]

Milan[edit]

In August 2009, Huntelaar transferred to Serie A club AC Milan for a reported €15 million, signing a four-year contract.[68][69] On 14 August 2009, Huntelaar made his debut for Milan during the TIM Trophy friendly tournament. Huntelaar was unable to play any part in Milan's opening league game of the season due to a suspension he had incurred whilst playing for Real Madrid. On 29 August, Huntelaar made his competitive league debut for Milan coming on as a sub in the 0–4 loss to cross-city rivals Internazionale. After a slow start, Huntelaar scored his first and second goal for Milan in injury time on 29 November 2009 in a 2–0 win against Catania after coming on in the 84th minute.[70]

After the match Leonardo stated that he would give Huntelaar more chances. However, Huntelaar only appeared as a sub for the next few matches, scoring a penalty in Milan's 5–2 win over Genoa. Because of the great recent form of teammate Marco Borriello, Huntelaar did not even appear as a sub very often until Borriello got sidelined due to an injury. Huntelaar capitalized on the opportunity by scoring his second brace of the season, helping Milan to a 3–2 defeat of Udinese. He then scored another goal in Milan's 2–1 win over Fiorentina after coming off the bench. When Marco Borriello hit bad form, Huntelaar was expected to play more often but Leonardo chose to play Filippo Inzaghi instead. A few weeks later, on 3 April, Huntelaar started the match against Cagliari and scored a spectacular goal from 30 yards out to stretch his goal tally to seven.

Schalke 04[edit]

Huntelaar with Schalke

On 31 August 2010, German club Schalke 04 and Milan reached an agreement to sell Huntelaar to the Bundesliga side for a fee of €14 million.[71][72] On 19 September 2010, he scored his first goal for Schalke in a 3–1 home defeat against Borussia Dortmund.[73] He scored two goals in the UEFA Champions League Group Stage match against Lyon on 24 November 2010. On 21 May 2011, Huntelaar scored a brace against MSV Duisburg in the 2011 DFB-Pokal Final, securing a 5–0 win for Schalke, the club's fifth DFB-Pokal championship and their first major trophy in nine years.[74]

On 31 July 2011, Huntelaar started alongside Raul in a DFB-Pokal match against FC Teningen. Huntelaar found the net four times in an 11–1 thrashing of the Landesliga Südbaden side.[75] After falling 3–0 away to VfB Stuttgart on the opening day of the 2011–12 Bundesliga season, Schalke and Huntelaar rebounded well by defeating 1. FC Köln 5–1 at the Veltins Arena. Köln went up 1–0 in the early stages thanks to a Lukas Podolski goal, but Huntelaar netted a hat-trick as his side ran rampant in the second half securing their first points of the season.[76] Huntelaar continued his good goal-scoring form the following weekend, finding the back of the net in the 57th minute against Mainz after being fed in by strike partner Raúl. Schalke had been down 2–0 after 12 minutes, but Huntelaar started a second-half rally that earned the visitors a 4–2 victory.[77] On 25 August 2011, Huntelaar scored four goals, including two penalties, in a 6–1 win in the qualifying play-off round of the UEFA Europa League against HJK Helsinki, allowing Schalke to overturn a 2–0 first leg deficit and advance to the group stage 6–3 on aggregrate.

After the resignation of head coach Ralf Rangnick on 22 September 2011,[78] former Royal Blues manager Huub Stevens returned to the team for their game against Hamburger SV on 2 October.[79] Huntelaar powered his side to victory in Stevens' first game back, heading in a sensational opening goal and netting the winner in the 73' minute with a delightful flick past Jaroslav Drobný.[80] Huntelaar has been in good form thus far in the 2011–12 season as he scored another hat-trick in a 4–1 win over FC Twente in the Europa League,[81] taking his goal tally for the season to 38 goals in 37 appearances.[82]

Meanwhile, Huntelaar himself said that "I think I still have one or two years before I reach my peak", because of his later physical development.[83]

Following his hat-trick against Twente, Huntelaar scored the winning goal in Schalke's 4–1 win over 1. FC Kaiserslautern on 18 March.[84] He scored two more goals against Bayer Leverkusen on 24 March, helping his side to a 2–0 victory and propelling Schalke to third in the Bundesliga standings.[85] Huntelaar's two goals continued his excellent run in Bundesliga and European play, bringing his goal tally to 40 from 39 games.[86]

Huntelaar scored a second-half brace in the club's 3–2 victory over Werder Bremen on the last day of the season, earning his side automatic qualification into the group stage of the Champions League.[87] The two goals also meant that Huntelaar finished the season with 29 goals from 34 league games, making him the first Dutch player to earn top scorer in the Bundesliga.[88]

On 23 December 2012, Schalke announced that Huntelaar signed a two-year contract extension to 30 June 2015.[89]

International career[edit]

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in training with the Netherlands

Youth squads[edit]

Huntelaar played in the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship for the Netherlands under coach Louis van Gaal. He scored 2 goals in the tournament before the Dutch were eliminated in the quarter finals by Egypt.[8] After scoring 44 goals in 47 appearances for Heerenveen and Ajax in all competitions during 2005–06, Huntelaar was named in the preliminary Netherlands squad for the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but was not selected for the final squad and instead sent to play in the UEFA Under-21 Championship held in Portugal. Huntelaar became top scorer in the tournament with four goals[90] including two in the final on 4 June 2006 to help the Netherlands beat Ukraine 3–0[91] and claim their first ever title at under-21 level. Huntelaar was named as one of two strikers in the UEFA Team of the Tournament.[92] In the aftermath, Huntelaar was promoted from the under-21 squad where he remains the Netherlands all-time top goalscorer with 18 goals in 22 matches.[2]

Senior squad[edit]

Following his achievements with the under-21 squad, Huntelaar was selected by senior team coach Marco van Basten for the Dutch national team's next friendly match, away against the Republic of Ireland on 16 August 2006. Huntelaar scored two goals and provided two assists on his senior debut in the Netherlands' 4–0 win,[93] and thus became the first Dutch player to score on his full international debut for 28 years since Dick Nanninga in 1978.[94]

Huntelaar (right) with Marco van Basten.

After being left out for a number of games, he was recalled to the squad in October 2007 for the UEFA Euro 2008 Qualifying games against Romania and Slovenia.[95] Due to the suspension of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Huntelaar was in the starting line-up against Slovenia and went on to score his first competitive international goal in the Netherlands 2–0 victory.[96] Huntelaar was included in the Netherlands Euro 2008 squad, and scored in his only appearance in the tournament with the opening goal of their final Group C match against Romania in a 2–0 victory.[97]

Huntelaar deputised for Robin van Persie (right) at the 2010 World Cup

With the retirement of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Huntelaar became new Dutch national team coach Bert van Marwijk's first choice striker for the 2010 World Cup qualification match against Iceland in October 2008, and scored in a 2–0 victory.[98] Huntelaar has since taken his goalscoring record at international level to 14 goals in 25 appearances for the Dutch senior team. Huntelaar was included in the preliminary squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.[99] On 27 May 2010, Netherlands manager Bert van Marwijk announced that the player would be part of the final squad of 23 participating in the competition.[100]

Huntelaar came on as a substitute in the Netherlands' second game of the tournament against Japan in a 1–0 win and earned his 33rd international cap, while Wesley Sneijder's second half goal in the 53rd minute gave the Dutch victory at Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium.[101] On 24 June 2010, Huntelaar received his 34th cap, when he replaced goalscorer Robin van Persie in the 58th minute against Cameroon in the Green Point Stadium, in Cape Town and scored the winning goal in the 83rd minute in a 2–1 win, taking his goal tally to 16 in 34 games for the Netherlands.[102] Huntelaar also came on as a substitute for Van Persie in the round of 16 game against Slovakia and in the quarter-final against Brazil.[103][104] He was an unused substitute in the final against Spain as the Netherlands lost their third World Cup final 0–1 due to a late goal by Andrés Iniesta.[105][106]

On 3 September 2010 he scored a hat-trick against San Marino in a Euro 2012 qualifying match at the Stadio Olimpico, a match which the Netherlands won 5–0.[107] He followed this up with both goals for the Netherlands as they defeated Finland on 7 September 2010 in Rotterdam.[108]

Huntelaar added further goals to his tally, with a double in a 4–1 win against Sweden on 12 October 2010.[109] He was the top goalscorer in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifying competition with twelve goals, leaving him one shy of David Healy's all-time qualification record.[110]

At the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Huntelaar came off the bench in the round of 16 match against Mexico with the Netherlands 0–1 down. He went on to provide the assist for Wesley Sneijder and scored the winning goal with an injury time penalty to qualify the team for the quarter-finals.[111]

Career statistics[edit]

Club statistics[edit]

As of 18 October 2014.
Club performance League Cup Continental Total
League Club Season Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Netherlands League KNVB Cup Europe Total
Eredivisie PSV Eindhoven 2002–03 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
De Graafschap 9 0 0 0 9 0
Eerste Divisie AGOVV Apeldoorn 2003–04 35 26 2 1 37 27
Eredivisie SC Heerenveen 2004–05 31 16 1 0 7 3 39 19
2005–06 15 17 1 1 7 3 23 21
Ajax 16 16 7 7 2 1 25 24
2006–07 32 21 10 6 9 9 51 36
2007–08 34 33 7 1 4 2 45 36
2008–09 10 6 1 1 4 2 15 9
Spain League Copa del Rey Europe Total
La Liga Real Madrid 2008–09 20 8 0 0 0 0 20 8
Italy League Coppa Italia Europe Total
Serie A Milan 2009–10 25 7 2 0 3 0 30 7
Germany League DFB-Pokal Europe Total
Bundesliga Schalke 04 2010–11 24 8 3 2 8 3 35 13
2011–12 32 29 3 5 12 14 47 48
2012–13 26 10 2 2 7 4 35 16
2013–14 18 12 1 1 2 1 21 14
2014–15 7 3 1 0 2 2 10 5
Career total Netherlands 183 135 29 17 33 20 245 172
Spain 20 8 0 0 0 0 20 8
Italy 25 7 2 0 3 0 30 7
Germany 107 62 10 10 31 24 147 96
Career statistics 335 212 41 27 67 44 443 283

International goals[edit]

Huntelaar (left) as the Netherlands' #9 with Dirk Kuyt.
Under manager Bert van Marwijk, Huntelaar deputised for Robin van Persie for the striker position in the Netherlands' poor run in Euro 2012.

International statistics[edit]

Huntelaar (left) with Joris Mathijsen following the 2010 World Cup
As of 10 October 2014.
National team Year Friendly Competitive Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Netherlands 2006 2 2 2 0 4 2
2007 3 0 2 1 5 1
2008 5 5 4 2 9 7
2009 5 2 6 2 11 4
2010 4 2 8 9 12 11
2011 4 1 4 4 8 5
2012 5 2 5 2 10 4
2013 1 0 0 0 1 0
2014 2 0 4 2 6 2
Career total 31 14 35 22 66 36

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Ajax[112]
Schalke 04[112]

International[edit]

Huntelaar was the Golden Player and Top Scorer at the 2006 UEFA U-21 Championship

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]

Sporting positions
Preceded by
Jaap Stam
Ajax captain
2008
Succeeded by
Thomas Vermaelen
Preceded by
Schalke 04 Vice-Captain
2013–present
Incumbent