Kieft in action for Ajax
|Full name||Willem Cornelis Nicolaas Kieft|
|Date of birth||November 12, 1962|
|Place of birth||Amsterdam, Netherlands|
|Height||1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)|
|Playing position||Centre forward|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
A prolific goal-scorer whose main asset resided in his heading ability, he played in his country for two of the most important clubs, Ajax and PSV, with equal team and individual success. He also played abroad in Italy and France.
For the Dutch national team Kieft scored in double digits in more than one decade of play, being a very valuable member of the squad that won Euro 1988. He also represented the nation at the 1990 World Cup.
Born in Amsterdam, Kieft started his professional career with local giants AFC Ajax, making his first team debuts on 4 May 1980, at not yet 18. Amongst his youth teammates were Frank Rijkaard, John van 't Schip, Marco van Basten and Gerald Vanenburg, as in his first two full seasons he scored at an astonishing rate, especially in 1981–82 when he netted 32 goals in as many games, being crucial as the side lifted the Eredivisie title and receiving the European Golden Boot award.
At only 20, Kieft was sold to Italy's Pisa Calcio, scoring only three times in a relegation-ending season; he did help the Tuscany club immediately promote to Serie A, but underperformed overall in the top flight, with that club and his following, Torino FC.
In the 1987 summer Kieft returned to his country, signing for PSV Eindhoven. His impact was immediate, as his new club won the treble, including the season's European Cup, where he scored in the penalty shootout defeat of S.L. Benfica (0–0 after 120 minutes). En route to these accolades he contributed with more than 30 goals overall, 29 alone in the league, a competition best.
Kieft had his second and last abroad experience in 1990, joining French outfit FC Girondins de Bordeaux and again underachieving, returning to PSV and playing three more seasons until his retirement, at nearly 32 (averaging more than 11 goals in his second spell with the club). In total, he scored 158 goals in only 264 games in Holland's top division.
In 2009 Kieft rejoined PSV, being named assistant coach of the club's youth sides.
In the first competition, he played three times for the eventual champions, always as a second-half substitute: on 18 June 1988, after having replaced Erwin Koeman, he scored in the 82nd minute of the 1–0 group stage win against the Republic of Ireland, through a header, helping the Dutch overtake their opponents in the match and finish second in Group 2, securing a place in the semi-finals.
Kieft played four times in the second tournament, held in Italy, starting against a familiar opponent, Ireland, and finding the net in the 1–1 draw against Egypt, as Holland exited in the round-of-16.
- Dutch League: 1979–80, 1981–82, 1982–83, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1991–92
- Dutch Cup: 1982–83, 1987–88, 1988–89, 1989–90; Runner-up 1979–80, 1980–81
- Dutch Supercup: 1992; Runner-up 1991
- European Cup: 1987–88
- Mitropa Cup: 1985–86
- European Golden Boot: 1982
- His son, Robbin (born 1987), was also a footballer. After attending Ajax and FC Groningen's youth academies, he played exclusively in the lower leagues of his country.
- Beijen profile (Dutch)
- Wim Kieft profile and stats at Wereld van Oranje (Dutch)
- Wim Kieft at National-Football-Teams.com