Club: AFC Ajax (1994/1997) | Arsenal (1997/1998)
Growth type: Standard
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- Marc Overmars (born 29 March 1973 in Emst, Gelderland) is a retired Dutch footballer. He is best known as a right-footed left winger, although he is able to use both his feet with equal precision and power. Known for his speed, Overmars' nicknames included "the Roadrunner" or its famous sound "meep-meep".
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- Overmars first joined a small Dutch club called SV Epe, before joining Go Ahead Eagles. Willem II later bought him from Go Ahead Eagles for ₤200,000, and, during the 1991/1992 season, Ajax bought him.
Overmars became famous with Ajax under Louis van Gaal. He was a member of the Ajax team that won the European Cup in 1995 against Milan. However, soon after the final, he suffered a serious right knee injury in 1996, which kept him out of Euro 1996. Despite his injury, Overmars was signed by Arsène Wenger's Arsenal in the summer of 1997 for ₤5.5 million.
At the London club, he scored vital goals, including one in the 1998 FA Cup Final and another in a 1–0 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford, which helped Arsenal to secure the Double. In the summer of 2000, he moved to Spain and joined Barcelona, for a record of ₤25 million (€40.6 million), making Overmars the most expensive Dutch player of all time. This transfer was the first in the history of football to be announced via the player's personal website. Despite a difficult first season at his new club, Overmars was still an impressive performer, registering eight goals in 31 appearances. He was a regular feature of Barcelona's 2001–02 Champions League campaign in which he scored once in ten matches en route to the semi-finals, but failed to inspire Barcelona to any trophy success.
After his football career, Overmars went to his first club, Go Ahead Eagles, as the technical manager of the club.
On 10 August 2008, Overmars made a shock announcement that he would come out of retirement to play again for the Go Ahead Eagles for the 2008–09 season. Not long before the announcement, Overmars played in the testimonial of Jaap Stam, where he played for a combination of former Dutch-internationals under the name 'Team Jaap Stam'. In the game, Overmars outplayed Ajax-defender George Ogararu. His performance led to several invitations from Eagles-coach Andries Ulderink to make a comeback in football. Marc already trained every week with the squad of Go Ahead Eagles, together with Paul Bosvelt. Overmars eventually decided to come back on the football pitch, under conditions. His right knee that caused him to end his career, still gave Overmars some worries. Therefore, Overmars did not play as many minutes or attend as many training sessions as the rest of the squad. After the end of the 2008–09 season, Overmars announced his retirement again.
On 24 February 1993, he made his debut in the Dutch national team against Turkey. By the time of the 1994 World Cup, Overmars was a regular in the Dutch national team.
In the 1998 World Cup, he was a regular fixture for Holland where he assisted his nation to a semi-final showdown with Brazil. Overmars was one of the best Dutch players in the tournament but suffered an injury in the 2nd round game against Yugoslavia (now Serbia). This ruled Overmars out of the next match, which was against Argentina. However, Overmars did enter late in the game as a substitute. He made an immediate impact by providing an inch perfect cross that almost led to a goal for the Netherlands. Overmars' injury became even worse after this game and he had to sit out the entire following match against Brazil. The Netherlands lost this match on penalties. Overmars was fit again to play in the Netherlands final match, which was the 3rd/4th play-off game against Croatia, but the Dutch lost 2–1.
In all, Overmars played 86 games for the Dutch national team, scoring 17 goals. Overmars was the youngest player to reach 50 caps with the Dutch national team. His final match was the Netherlands' loss to Portugal in the semifinals of the 2004 European Championships.
By now, Overmars was being continually troubled by a persistent knee injury. After taking doctors' advice on the problem, on 26 July 2004, he announced his retirement from professional football.
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