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Giovanni Van Bronckhorst

Giovanni Van Bronckhorst
Complete Name: Giovanni van Bronckhorst
Nationality: Dutch
Place of Birth: Rotterdam , Netherlands
Date of Birth: 2/5/1975
Height: 178 cm
Weight: 75 kg
National Team: Holland
Current Club: FC Barcelona (Spain)
Position: Defender, Midfielder


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Club career history

RKC Waalwijk (Holland), Feyenoord (Holland), Rangers (Holland), Arsenal FC (Holland), FC Barcelona (Spain)




Giovanni van Bronckhorst (born May 5, 1975 in Rotterdam) is a Dutch football (soccer) defender and midfielder, who currently plays for Barcelona in La Liga.

Prior to joining Barcelona, van Bronckhorst played for RKC Waalwijk (1993-94), Feyenoord (1994-98), Rangers (1998-2001), and Arsenal (2001-03). He has earned over 30 caps for the Dutch national team (as of the end of 2004), and played for his country in the 1998 World Cup, Euro 2000 and Euro 2004.

Van Bronckhorst was already an international when he signed for Rangers in 1998, joining up with compatriot Dick Advocaat, the Scottish club's new manager. In his first competitive game for Rangers, a remarkable UEFA Cup tie away to Irish League side Shelbourne (although played at Tranmere Rovers' Prenton Park), van Bronckhorst marked his debut with a finely-struck goal as Rangers came back from 3-0 down to win the match 5-3. Van Bronckhorst went on to score 22 goals for Rangers (13 in the league, three in the Scottish Cup, one in the Scottish League Cup, three in the Champions League and two in the UEFA Cup), mostly as a play-making midfielder of notable skill and subtlety, before an £8m transfer to Arsenal in the summer of 2001.

At Arsenal, although he was not particularly striving for first-team action, he was not the revelation which Arsène Wenger was hoping for when he signed him from Rangers as the midfielder only managed to score only twice in two seasons although he did appear in 42 matches for Arsenal FC. For the Netherlands, his playing position was often as an attacking left winger which he used to excel in at Feyenoord and during his international stints during the late 1990s. However, during his playing days at Arsenal, he appeared to have favoured the leftback position even more although he was not widely known as a leftback specialist. Such an example would be when he was playing for his country during the Euro 2000 competition where he was started at leftback whereas the fleet-footed Marc Overmars or the younger Boudewijn Zenden would dominate the attacking left winger role. He was benched by then coach Frank Rijkaard in that tournament when incumbent leftback Arthur Numan stepped in for the match against France in the first round and saw his international appearances growing limited.

After Numan's retirement, later national team coaches seemed to appreciate his leftback capabilities, most notably under Dick Advocaat who chose him to play for the Netherlands in the Euro 2004 competition in Portugal. The Dutch team eventually reached the semi-finals of the tournament where a rejuvenated Portugal proved too strong for them, with van Bronckhorst struggling to contain an impressive Luis Figo who hardly looked his age. However, while international success seemed to elude him, he recently won the Primera Liga title with Barcelona in the 2004/05 season after some of his finest displays together with 4 goals to his credit. In Spain, he even styled his shirt name to the much-liked 'Gio' as opposed to his time at Arsenal where his name was simply 'Bronckhorst', being one of the players with one of the longest names at the club, if not the world.

Despite sometimes been mistake for Italian due to his first name, his heritage is actually Dutch-Indonesian.

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