Nickname: "De Kromme" ("The Crooked")
Club: Feyenoord Rotterdam
Growth type: Standard/Lasting
He is regarded as one of the best Dutch players even. Usually named before played like Gullit, Rijkaard, Bergkamp, Koeman and Krol.
He is respected for his tactical insight. Both his way of sprinting (he had bandy legs), and his skill to give the ball a curve (achieved by striking the ball with the outside of his left foot) gave him the nickname De Kromme (The Crooked). He is also well known for his fantastic passing range and his ability with the ball at his feet.
He was part of the Dutch national team in 1974, reaching the final in Munich. Noted journalist Brian Glanville considered Van Hanegem to be the best Dutch player on the pitch, and he nearly scored twice with diving headers at Sepp Maier's goal. Van Hanegem was one of the greatest "older" Dutch free kickers of all time.
In the summer of 1944 the German 15th army was fleeing northward from Calais to Holland. On 11 September the Allies bombed the Wehrmacht near the ferry terminal at Breskens. Citizens had fled the town but Lo and Izaak van Hanegem, Willem's father and older brother, went back to get supplies. They hid in a shelter, which was hit. Both died. Van Hanegem later lost a brother and a sister to the war. His hatred was summed up after the 1974 final, "I didn't give a damn as long as we humiliated them. They murdered my father, sister and two brothers. I am full of angst. I hate them". After the game (with Germany winning 2-1) Van Hanegem left the field in tears.
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