Pierre van Hooijdonk: Wikis


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Pierre van Hooijdonk
FvS Feyenoord Pierre van Hooijdonk 01.jpg
Personal information
Full name Petrus Ferdinandus Johannes van Hooijdonk[1]
Date of birth 29 November 1969 (1969-11-29) (age 40)
Place of birth    Steenbergen, Netherlands
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)
Playing position Striker (Retired)
Senior career1
Years Club App (Gls)*
RBC Roosendaal
NAC Breda
Nottingham Forest
Vitesse Arnhem
S.L. Benfica
Feyenoord Rotterdam
NAC Breda
Feyenoord Rotterdam
069 0(33)
115 0(81)
069 0(44)
071 0(36)
029 0(25)
030 0(19)
061 0(52)
053 0(32)
017 00(5)
037 00(8)
551 (335)   
National team
1994–2004 Netherlands 046 0(14)

1 Senior club appearances and goals
counted for the domestic league only.
* Appearances (Goals)

Petrus Ferdinandus Johannes "Pierre" van Hooijdonk[1] (born 29 November 1969) is a retired Dutch football player who played as a striker. His last spell was at Feyenoord Rotterdam. Van Hooijdonk was capped 46 times for the Dutch national team, scoring 14 goals, and played in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Euro 2000 and Euro 2004. He was noted for his spectacular free kicks.




Early years

As a child, Van Hooijdonk who was born in Steenbergen lived in a small village nearby named Welberg. While playing in one of SC Welberg's youth squads he became familiar with the sport. His favourite team was NAC Breda and he was already watching their games at a young age. When he was 11 years old he took part in a talent pool on the open day of the team and he impressed the NAC scouts. He was asked to join NAC, which he did and played mainly as a right midfielder. When he was 14 he was told he was not good enough for NAC and he switched to amateur side V.V. "Steenbergen". Here he switched to the striker position and he would play five years for the team, of which the last two seasons in their first team. His performances at V.V. "Steenbergen" were noticed by RBC Roosendaal scout Tiny van Dijk and he was brought into the team at amateur level.

Club career

First steps in professional football

As RBC were facing financial trouble in these days they were forced to use youth players faster than other teams and in the 1988-89 season Van Hooijdonk was brought in as a substitute for a few times and soon scored three goals, which resulted in more appearances throughout the season. Because RBC's main striker suffered from an injury Van Hooijdonk played almost the whole second half of the season, scoring a total of six goals in 32 matches. He signed his first professional contract and his final breakthrough came in the following season in which he became a key player for the team, scoring 27 times in 37 matches. Several teams showed interest and NAC Breda was one of the teams. Van Hooijdonk did not hesitate and signed a contract at the team he supported as a kid.

Back at NAC

NAC paid 400,000 guilders for Van Hooijdonk, a player whom they had sent away while he was playing in their youth squads. Returning at NAC gave him a good feeling and he was determined to show them what he was capable of. Van Hooijdonk succeeded in his goal and scored a total of 81 goals in four seasons, in which he played 115 matches. He helped the team to win promotion to the Eredivisie in 1993. In his last season at this club, in December 1994, he was called up for the Netherlands for the first time in his career. Not much later, in the 1994-95 winter break, Celtic offered him a contract and made a deal with NAC for him to join them immediately, which he accepted.


When Van Hooijdonk arrived at Celtic they had not won any trophies in six years. However with Van Hooijdonk Celtic won the Scottish Cup right away and Van Hooijdonk was the only goalscorer in the final. Van Hooijdonk was popular among the fans, but had an argument with the club's president. As a result he ended up at the substitute bench and did not play for the majority of matches. The manager of the Dutch national team Guus Hiddink told him he would not be selected for the national team as long as he was no regular first team player at Celtic. In total he scored 57 goals for the club in 68 appearances. He left Celtic over a wage dispute towards the end of the 1996/97 season, stating that the reputed £7,000 a week he was being offered might be "good enough for the homeless" to live on "but not for an international striker."[2] He went on to join Nottingham Forest in a deal worth up to £4.5m.

Nottingham Forest

Van Hooijdonk arrived as Forest were in deep relegation trouble, struggling to maintain their position in the Premier League. He made his debut for Forest in a 1-1 draw against Blackburn on 11 March 1997. It was hoped the arrival of van Hooijdonk would kick-start their survival, but he scored just one goal in his eight games for them that season. Although only one of those games was lost, the other seven were drawn and Forest were relegated. He immediately pledged his future to helping the club regain their status.

The following season was an unqualified success, both for him and Forest. Forest won the title and promotion in a competitive league (facing stiff opposition from Sunderland, Charlton and Middlesbrough) van Hooijdonk scored 34 goals and built up a good partnership with strike partner Kevin Campbell, who scored 23 times. He was a regular in the Dutch national squad, and was named in the Dutch squad for 1998 FIFA World Cup in France where he scored as a substitute in the match against South Korea.

Pierre, the 'striker'

After the World Cup had finished he discovered that the promised strengthening to the Forest squad to enable them to cope back in the Premier League had not transpired, indeed that his strike partner Campbell (who had an ongoing back injury) had been sold to Trabzonspor for £2.5m. The club had also announced that Scot Gemmill was dropped from the first team for refusing to sign a new contract, and that club captain and terrace hero Colin Cooper was being allowed to leave to the team promoted alongside them as runners up, Middlesbrough. Van Hooijdonk asked for a transfer. The club's new owners refused. Van Hooijdonk announced that he had been told previously that he could leave the club at the end of the 1997/98 season if he so wished, that he felt betrayed by the club's owners who had failed to deliver on their promises to him regarding the strengthening of the team, and that he felt he could no longer play for his employers. His employers, desperate for a striker, refused to allow him to be transfer-listed again, so van Hooijdonk announced his intention to strike. He kept fit by training with his former club NAC Breda.

Because of his behaviour Van Hooijdonk received criticism both from fans, who he let down, and from his teammates, who he also let down, not least from new club captain Steve Stone and manager Dave Bassett. The club refused to listen to offers for him, as they needed a top striker and the stand-off lasted until early November when he, realising that he had no choice, agreed to return. By this time the club was again in relegation trouble being bottom of the league without a win in nine games, having a striker would have helped. He played sporadically between then and the end of the season, outlasting Dave Bassett and Steve Stone. He scored 6 goals in his 18 starts in the Premier League, including his first goal in his third game back against Forest's fierce rivals Derby County, helping them to a draw. Infamously after this goal most of his teammates refused to celebrate alongside him, instead going to Scot Gemmill, the man who crossed the ball to him. He also scored a last minute home equaliser against rivals Liverpool with a trademark free-kick that protected Forest's proud unbeaten home run against them that goes back to the 1980s.[3] Forest ended the 1998/99 Premier League season bottom and relegated.

Football nomad

At the end of the 1998/99 season he returned to the Netherlands with Vitesse Arnhem in a £3.5m move to continue his career after and did much to convince his critics of his goal-scoring abilities when he helped the Arnhem team to a UEFA Cup spot with 25 goals in one season. He also returned into the Dutch national team in this period. Van Hooijdonk then signed a three year deal for Benfica in 2000. He eventually only played one season for them with 19 goals. At Benfica he faced the same structural problems as he faced at Nottingham Forest and the team used three different managers throughout the season. The new chairman at the team had no faith in Van Hooijdonk and he was set back into their second team. Benfica were planning on selling him to another foreign club, but all Van Hooijdonk wanted was to return to his home country. At the end of the 2000/01 season, he signed for his fourth Dutch club, Feyenoord Rotterdam.

UEFA Cup winner

While at Feyenoord, he will always be remembered for his free kick abilities and his integral part in the UEFA Cup 2001-02 win. He scored two goals in the final and his performances helped Feyenoord beat Freiburg, Rangers, PSV Eindhoven, Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund. Just before the final, a group of Feyenoord fans called the Black and White Brothers recorded a song about van Hooijdonk called "Put your hands up for Pi-air" which charted in the Dutch music charts and referred to van Hooijdonk's free-kicks and goals.


Never one to settle down, van Hooijdonk joined Fenerbahçe SK at the beginning of the 2003-04 season where he featured in 52 games for the Turkish club and scored 32 goals (24 in his first season). He was nicknamed Aziz Pierre (means Saint Pierre in Turkish) by fans. He wore the number 17 the same number that he worn for the national team.

He won the Süper Lig title in 2003-04 (first championship in his career) and again the following year in 2004-05 with Fenerbahçe.

The final years

In mid-2005, he signed again for his former club, NAC, playing 17 games but scoring only 5 goals. During the winter transfer window of the 2005/06 season, he signed for another former club, Feyenoord, where he scored 8 goals in 37 appearances.

On 17 October 2006 Van Hooijdonk announced his retirement at the end of the 2006-07 season.[4] On 13 May 2007 he eventually played his final professional match after a draw with Feyenoord against FC Groningen in the play-offs,[5] having played 550 games (335 goals) in the highest leagues in 18 seasons of professional football.[1]

Victim of fraud

It was reported on 29 May 2008 that van Hooijdonk had been a victim of fraud and had lost £2,000,000 to a scam, which involved him investing in a Chinese textile company which did not exist. Dutch police said the scam was worth 'many millions of euro'.[6]


Van Hooijdonk is currently part of the pundit team for the Dutch pay-tv broadcaster Eredivisie Live.[7]

Career statistics


Club League Season League Cup League Cup Europe Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Celtic FC Scottish Premier League 1994-95 14 4 ? ? 0 0 14 4
1995–96 34 26 4 4 3 2 41 32
1996–97 21 14 2 1 2 1 4 0 29 16
Total 69 44 6 5 5 3 4 0 84 52
Nottingham Forest Premier League 1996-97 8 1 0 0 0 0 8 1
Division 1 1997–98 42 29 1 1 4 4 47 34
Premier League 1998–99 21 6 0 0 1 0 22 6
Total 71 36 1 1 5 4 77 41
Vitesse Eredivisie 1999-00 29 25 3 1 4 2 36 28
Total 29 25 3 1 4 2 36 28
SL Benfica Portuguese Liga 2000-01 30 19 ? ? 2 2 32 21
Total 30 19 ? ? 2 2 32 21
Feyenoord Eredivisie 2001-02 33 24 1 0 12 9 46 33
2002-03 28 28 0 0 5 1 33 29
Total 61 52 1 0 17 10 79 62
Fenerbahçe SK Süper Lig 2003-04 34 24 3 1 37 25
2004-05 19 8 2 1 5 1 26 10
Total 53 32 5 2 5 1 63 35
NAC Breda Eredivisie 2005-06 17 5 3 3 20 8
Total 17 5 3 3 20 8
Feyenoord Eredivisie 2005-06 11 3 0 0 0 0 11 3
2006-07 26 5 2 0 4 0 32 5
Total 37 8 2 0 4 0 43 8


External links

Simple English

Pierre van Hooijdonk
Personal information
Full name Petrus Ferdinandus Johannes van Hooijdonk
Date of birth 29 November 1969 (1969-11-29) (age 41)
Place of birth    Steenbergen, Netherlands
Height 1.94 m (6 ft 4+12 in)
Playing position Striker (retired)
Senior clubs
Years Club
NAC Breda
Nottingham Forest
Feyenoord Rotterdam
NAC Breda
Feyenoord Rotterdam
National team
1994-2004 Netherlands

Pierre van Hooijdonk (born 29 November 1969) is a former Dutch football player. He has played for Netherlands national team.

Club career statistics


Club Performance League CupLeague CupContinentalTotal
SeasonClubLeague AppsGoals AppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
NetherlandsLeague KNVB Cup League Cup EuropeTotal
1989/90RoosendaalEerste Divisie326326
1991/92NAC BredaEerste Divisie35203520
ScotlandLeague Scottish Cup Scottish League Cup EuropeTotal
1994/95CelticPremier Division14400-144
EnglandLeague FA Cup Football League Cup EuropeTotal
1996/97Nottingham ForestPremier League810000-81
1997/98First Division42291144-4734
1998/99Premier League2160010-226
NetherlandsLeague KNVB Cup League Cup EuropeTotal
PortugalLeague Cup of Portugal Portuguese League Cup EuropeTotal
2000/01BenficaPortuguese Liga3019-223221
NetherlandsLeague KNVB Cup League Cup EuropeTotal
2001/02Feyenoord RotterdamEredivisie332410-1294633
TurkeyLeague Fortis Turkey Cup League Cup EuropeTotal
2003/04FenerbahçeSüper Lig342431--3725
NetherlandsLeague KNVB Cup League Cup EuropeTotal
2005/06NAC BredaEredivisie17533--208
2005/06Feyenoord RotterdamEredivisie11300-00113
CountryNetherlands 32820494-2512362220
Scotland 69446553408452
England 71361154-7741
Portugal 3019-223221
Turkey 533252-516335
Total 55133521121073615618369

International career statistics


Netherlands national team



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