Patrick Kluivert's games that changed my life: "I was only 18 and had already achieved one of the biggest dreams any footballer can have"

Patrick Kluivert
(Image credit: Getty)

Patrick Kluivert won the Champions League as a teenager with Ajax, scoring the winning goal in the 1995 final. He later made over 250 appearances for Barcelona and also featured for clubs including AC Milan, Valencia and Newcastle. The Dutchman represented his country at three successive Euros and the 1998 World Cup.

Here, he tells FourFourTwo about the matches that changed his life...

This article first appeared in the November 2018 issue of FourFourTwo. Subscribe now and get 13 issues a year delivered straight to your door.

Ajax 1 Milan 0 (1995 Champions League Final)

“Not many people remember that we went unbeaten in Europe that season. In the final we were playing Milan for the third time, so the two sides knew each other very well. I came on in the 70th minute and scored the winner –
I was only 18 years old and had already achieved one of the biggest dreams any footballer can have. It was amazing.”

Holland 2 Argentina 1 (July 4, 1998 World Cup quarter-final)

“It was a strange World Cup for me as I received a red card in our first game against Belgium, so it definitely didn’t start too well. I came back into the side against a very strong Argentina team and scored to make it 1-0 – not a bad comeback, eh? They equalised but then Frank de Boer gave a fabulous long ball to Dennis Bergkamp, who scored that incredible goal. That was a great game.”

Brazil 1 Holland 1 [4-2p] (July 7, 1998 World Cup semi-final)

“We should have won that World Cup. I believe that was the ‘pre-final’ of that tournament. They went ahead through Ronaldo, then I scored with a header – Ronald de Boer delivered the perfect cross and I jumped into the sky as high as I could. But it went to penalties and that wasn’t a strong point at the time.”

Real Madrid 1 Barcelona 2 (April 25, 2004 La Liga)

“I had to pick a Clasico - especially the one we won at the Bernabeu. I scored and then Ronaldinho set up Xavi for the winner. When you win there it’s always special, because there’s so much hate when you come out of the tunnel. They try to intimidate you, but when you beat Real at their home, it’s the best feeling.”

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