Patrick Kluivert

Patrick Stephan Kluivert ([ˈpɛtrɪk ˈklœy̯vərt] (listen); born 1 July 1976) is a Dutch former football player and coach who is the academy director of FC Barcelona. He is the former director of football for Paris Saint-Germain in France. Kluivert was the assistant manager of Cameroon.[5] He played as a striker, most notably for AFC Ajax, FC Barcelona and the Netherlands national team.[6][7][8]

Patrick Kluivert
Kluivert at the training camp of PSV in 2006
Personal information
Full name Patrick Stephan Kluivert[1][2][3]
Date of birth (1976-07-01) 1 July 1976
Place of birth Amsterdam, Netherlands
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in)[4]
Position(s) Striker
Club information
Current team
Barcelona (director of youth football)
Youth career
1983–1984 Schellingwoude
1984–1994 Ajax
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1994–1997 Ajax 70 (39)
1997–1998 Milan 27 (6)
1998–2004 Barcelona 182 (90)
2004–2005 Newcastle United 25 (6)
2005–2006 Valencia 10 (1)
2006–2007 PSV 16 (3)
2007–2008 Lille 13 (4)
Total 343 (149)
National team
1990–1991 Netherlands U16 2 (0)
1991–1992 Netherlands U17 10 (2)
1992 Netherlands U18 3 (2)
1992–1994 Netherlands U19 20 (6)
1994–2004 Netherlands 79 (40)
Teams managed
2008–2010 AZ (assistant)
2010 Brisbane Roar (assistant)
2010–2011 NEC (assistant)
2011–2012 Jong FC Twente
2012–2014 Netherlands (assistant)
2015–2016 Curaçao
2016 Ajax (youth)
2016–2017 Paris Saint-Germain (director of football)
2018–2019 Cameroon (assistant)
2019– Barcelona (director of youth football)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

He was part of Ajax's Golden Generation of the 1990s at the age of 18, scoring the winner in the 1995 UEFA Champions League Final. He spent six years with Spanish club Barcelona where he formed a successful partnership with Rivaldo, where both won the Spanish La Liga championship of 1999 and Kluivert scored 124 goals from 249 appearances in all.[6][9]

Kluivert played for the Dutch national team from 1994 to 2004. With 40 goals in 79 appearances, he is the third highest top goalscorer for Oranje. He played in three European Championships and the 1998 FIFA World Cup, and was joint top scorer at Euro 2000 where upon the scoresheet he tallied a total of 5 times. In 2004, he was named in the FIFA 100, a list of the 125 greatest living footballers chosen by Pelé as part of FIFA's centenary observances. He is considered as one of the best Dutch strikers of all time.[10][11]

He began his coaching career as an assistant at AZ and then NEC. He had a brief coaching stint in Australia with the Brisbane Roar, before coaching Jong FC Twente to a national title in the Dutch reserves league.[12] He was assistant manager to Louis van Gaal with the Netherlands national football team when they finished third at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.[13] In 2015, he took over as head coach of the Curaçao national team for the country's 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifying and the 2017 Caribbean Cup qualifying campaigns. In 2016, it was announced that he would take over the Ajax A1 (under-19) selection, coaching his son, Justin Kluivert,[14] before taking a position as director of football for Paris Saint-Germain.

Early life

Kluivert was born on 1 July 1976 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. His father, a professional football player, was born in Suriname and his mother in Curaçao.[15] Kluivert learned to play football on the street. After a year at football club Schellingwoude, he joined the Ajax Youth Academy at the age of seven.

He played several different positions as a youth, including defender. He was strong in technique, football intelligence, and speed, but was considered too impulsive.[16] Kluivert played for the Dutch national teams under-15, under-16 and under-17.[16]

Club career


Kluivert was part of Ajax's Golden Generation of the 1990s. He made his debut in the senior team of Ajax on 21 August 1994 at the age of 18 in the Dutch Supercup win against the old arch rival Feyenoord, in which he scored his first goal. He went on to top score for Ajax in the 1994–95 Eredivisie with 18 goals in 25 appearances,[17] as Louis van Gaal's team won the Dutch championship without losing a match.[18]

The 1994–95 season also saw Kluivert make his mark – along with a host of youngsters from the Ajax youth academy, including Edgar Davids, Clarence Seedorf, and Edwin van der Sar – on the European stage with a triumph in the UEFA Champions League. Kluivert came off the bench to score an 85th-minute winner in the 1995 Champions League Final against A.C. Milan in Vienna, Austria. The youngest player to score in a final of the main event of the European continent, when he was only 18 years, 10 months and 23 days.[17]

He again top-scored for Ajax in 1995–96 with 15 goals in 28 appearances as the club won five trophies, including the Eredivisie title. He scored the winning goal in extra time of the season opening Dutch Supercup against Feyenoord and also scored the team's away goal in the 5–1 aggregate win over Real Zaragoza in the 1995 UEFA Super Cup.

On 28 November 1995, Kluivert was the only Ajax player to miss his kick in the 4–3 penalty shootout win over Grêmio in Tokyo that saw de Godenzonen win the Intercontinental Cup. Kluivert was also in excellent form during Ajax's defence of their Champions League trophy, scoring in away wins at Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, but a knee injury prevented him from participating for the full 90 minutes in the team's loss to Juventus in the 1996 UEFA Champions League Final.[17]

At the end of an injury hit 1996–97 season in which he made only 17 league appearances, Kluivert joined A.C. Milan on a Bosman transfer after rejecting Ajax's offer of a new contract.[17] He ended his spell at the Amsterdam club with 39 goals from 70 Eredivisie matches.


Kluivert's career at Milan started well, with the striker scoring a sensational goal against Juventus in the Trofeo Luigi Berlusconi. However, he spent only one season at the San Siro, scoring six times in 27 Serie A matches,[17] as the Rossoneri finished in 10th place.[19]


On 28 August 1998, an hour before the transfer deadline, Kluivert signed a four-year contract with FC Barcelona for a fee of £8.75 million.[20] Kluivert was reunited with Louis van Gaal, a mentor from his days at Ajax. Kluivert scored 16 league goals and formed a successful partnership with Rivaldo, which enabled Barça to defend the Spanish La Liga in 1998–99.[17] The following season was also a successful one for Kluivert. Although Barcelona failed to win a third consecutive league title, Kluivert finished the season as the club's top scorer with 15 league goals.[21] Kluivert went on to top score twice more in his next four seasons at Camp Nou but the team completed a period of five years without a major trophy after their title success in 1999.

In the summer of 2004, Kluivert was one of four Dutch players released by Barcelona. He ended his career at Barça with 124 goals from 249 appearances.[9] In 2015, the Dutchman once again featured for Barca in a legends game against Uganda all stars where he, in lobbing the ball, scored an amazing goal.[22]

Newcastle United

Kluivert joined Newcastle United on a free transfer in July 2004.[23] He stated that his reasons for joining Newcastle was due to the overwhelming reaction he received whilst playing for Barcelona against Newcastle during a pre season friendly as well as teaming up with Newcastle's star players such as Alan Shearer.[23] Kluivert scored some classy and crucial goals at and away from St James' Park namely in winning strikes against both Chelsea[24] and Tottenham Hotspur in the FA Cup, with both games ending 1–0 to Newcastle.[25] He also scored away against Olympiakos in a 3-1 win in the first leg of the round of 16 of the UEFA Cup. Kluivert eventually scored 5 goals in all in that season's UEFA Cup.[26][27] He altogether scored 13 goals in his debut season, being Newcastle's overall second highest goal scorer for 2004/05. Despite these feats, Kluivert was then released by Newcastle in the summer of 2005.[28][29]


Kluivert decided to return to Spain to play at the Mestalla for Valencia CF. During that 2005-06 season, Valencia finished third in La Liga thus qualifying for the Champions League after a 1-season absence. Kluivert played for a total of 202 minutes, as he spent most of that season injured.[30][31][32]


Despite widespread rumours that Kluivert was to return home to Johan Cruyff Arena, Kluivert's return to the Eredivisie was to be with PSV, with whom he signed a one-year deal in 2006. Just as with his debut for Ajax, Kluivert made his PSV debut against Feyenoord in a 2–1 win, coming on as a substitute. After that, he had two injuries during the first half of the season, which limited his playing time. In a game against Ajax at the Philips Stadion, Kluivert refused to celebrate after scoring a goal against his former club. He was eventually released in July 2007.


On 25 July 2007, Kluivert joined French side Lille.[33]

International career

Kluivert made his full international debut on 16 November 1994 in a European qualifier against the Czech Republic, replacing Youri Mulder after 13 minutes of a 00 draw in Rotterdam.[34] In his second match, on 29 March 1995, he replaced Ronald de Boer after 77 minutes, and seven minutes later scored his first international goal to wrap up a 40 home qualifying win over Malta.[35]

In December 1995, Kluivert scored both goals in the Netherlands' 2–0 UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying play-off win over Ireland at Anfield, to qualify the Oranje for UEFA Euro 1996.[36] Kluivert missed most of the tournament with a knee injury but he scored against host nation England, to enable the Netherlands to qualify for the knock-out round over Scotland on goal difference. There, they lost in a penalty shootout to France.

At the 1998 FIFA World Cup, Kluivert was sent off against Belgium by referee Pierluigi Collina after elbowing Lorenzo Staelens. He made amends when selected to play against Argentina in the quarter-finals of the same tournament where he scored the opening goal. He also impressed in the later match, scoring a late equalising goal from a header to draw his team level with Brazil in the semi-final, although the Netherlands went on to lose the penalty shootout.

The UEFA Euro 2000 would represent Kluivert's finest hour as the spearhead of a star-studded Oranje side. Kluivert scored a hat-trick in the 6–1 quarter-final demolition of Yugoslavia; he was originally credited with four goals, but the third was later re-attributed as an own goal by Yugoslavia's Dejan Govedarica after Kluivert admitted not getting a touch on Paul Bosvelt's cross. Had all four goals stood, Kluivert would have been the first player to score four times in a European Championship finals match.[37] The semi-final against Italy would provide much heartache for Kluivert, as the Dutch yet again crashed out on penalties. Neither Kluivert nor his Dutch side could find the back of the net, despite twice having a chance from the penalty spot – Kluivert himself would miss one of those penalties during the game, but did score in the penalty shoot-out. Despite the Dutch falling short, Kluivert will be remembered for rising to the occasion in front of partisan home crowds, scoring five goals in as many games, jointly claiming the Golden Boot with Savo Milošević.[38]

Kluivert would once again enter UEFA Euro 2004 wearing the famous #9 jersey for his country with the Dutch reaching the semifinals of the tournament.[39]

As well as from being left out of the 2006 FIFA World Cup squad by coach Marco van Basten, Kluivert was not called up to play in any of the qualifying games leading up to the World Cup either. This was due to the fact that he suffered persistent injuries which prevented him from playing for his club during the 2005-06 season. Kluivert was the all-time leading goalscorer for the Dutch national team with 40 goals, until he was surpassed by Robin van Persie in 2013.[40]

Style of play

Although tall in stature, Kluivert possessed a remarkably impressive 'first touch' and quick feet for such a large striker. Similar to Brazilian footballer Ronaldo, he often used several feints, namely the Cruijff Turn, to great effect to go past defenders, due to his pace, strong technical skills, close control, and football intelligence. Kluivert also utilised his height, power, and strong physique to dominate aerial balls and was considered to possess one of the best headers in the then-contemporary game. A versatile player, with an eye for goal, he also possessed good vision, and was capable of playing in several other positions across the pitch. Despite his ability, he drew criticism for his character and attitude throughout his career.[16][41][42][43]

Coaching career

Early career

On 29 April 2008, Dutch media reported that Kluivert would take part in the coaching course of the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) to become a professional football coach.[44] The KNVB requires that all coaching badge candidates complete this sort of apprenticeship.

On 18 July 2008, it was reported on the football website that Kluivert would be spending the 2008–09 season as a member of the backroom coaching staff of Eredivisie club AZ. Later on, in an interview on Soccer AM, Kluivert revealed his role involved coaching the strikers at AZ.

In January 2010, Kluivert took a position as an assistant coach for Australian A-League side Brisbane Roar FC under head coach Ange Postecoglou.[45]

On 19 May 2010, Kluivert told journalists he ruled out a comeback as a football player.[46] From August 2010 on, he was an assistant-coach for N.E.C., coaching the strikers. In the 2011–12 season, he moved on and took charge of the FC Twente youth and reserve team, coaching Jong FC Twente to a national title in the Beloften Eredivisie.

In August 2012, Kluivert joined the Netherlands national team coaching staff to work under head coach Louis van Gaal.[47] Kluivert's time with the Netherlands culminated with a third-place finish in the 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign.

On 5 March 2015, it was announced that Kluivert would take over as manager of the Curaçao national football team for the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualification.[48] Curaçao progressed through the first two qualifying rounds, defeating Montserrat and Cuba.[49] On 8 September 2015 Curaçao were eliminated in the 2018 FIFA World Cup third qualifying round by El Salvador, losing 2–0 on aggregate score.[50] Having helped the country to their best performance yet in World Cup qualifying, Kluivert announced the end of his tenure as head coach of the team on 10 September 2015. While pursuing other ventures, he remains a close advisor to the Curaçao Football Federation.[51]


On 24 February 2016, Kluivert announced his decision to remain head coach of Curaçao ahead of the teams' Caribbean Cup qualifying matches against the Dominican Republic and Barbados.[52] On 2 May 2016, it was announced that Kluivert would take over as head coach of the Ajax A1 (under-19) selection ahead of the 2016–17 season, where he would coach his son Justin Kluivert with the team having secured placement in the UEFA Youth League the previous year.[14]

Following his announcement to join Ajax, Kluivert remained head coach of Curaçao for round two of the Caribbean Cup qualifiers where they faced Guyana and the U.S. Virgin Islands in group 3. Curaçao won both their matches at home, defeating Guyana 5–2 and the U.S. Virgin Islands 7–0 in his final match as head coach of the island nation.[53] On 14 July 2016 it was announced that Kluivert would no longer coach the under-19 team of Ajax, but that he would instead take over the position as director of football for French club Paris Saint-Germain. He expressed that his intention was to stay with Ajax, but that he could not refuse the offer made by PSG.[54]

His efforts for the national team of Curaçao did not go without merit as the team secured qualification for both the 2017 Caribbean Cup and the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup, where they would compete for the first time in 40 years under the guidance of Remko Bicentini and Kluivert.[55]


In 2018 he became Seedorf's assistant at the Cameroon national football team, before being sacked together in July 2019.[56]

Return to Barcelona

In July 2019 he became the academy director of FC Barcelona.[57]


Kluivert has appeared in commercials for the American sportswear company Nike.[58][59] In 1996, he starred in a Nike commercial titled "Good vs Evil" in a gladiatorial game set in a Roman amphitheatre. Appearing alongside football players from around the world, including Ronaldo, Paolo Maldini, Eric Cantona, Luís Figo and Jorge Campos, they defend "the beautiful game" against a team of demonic warriors, before it culminates with Cantona striking the ball and destroying evil.[58]

On 9 September 1995, Kluivert crashed a borrowed BMW into another car in Amsterdam, killing the driver and seriously injuring a female passenger. Kluivert admitted to speeding before the crash, and was convicted of death by dangerous driving. As a consequence, he was sentenced to perform 240 hours of community service.[60][61]

Personal life

Portrait of Patrick Kluivert

Kluivert is the second son of former football player Kenneth Kluivert, who played for SV Robinhood in the SVB Hoofdklasse and for the Suriname national team. His mother Lidwina Kluivert, was born in Willemstad, Curaçao, in the former Netherlands Antilles, to a Surinamese father and Curaçaoan mother.[62] His parents were married in Paramaribo, and both his elder siblings were born in Suriname, before the family emigrated to the Netherlands in 1970.[63]

On 24 September 2007, Kluivert's wife Rossana Lima gave birth to a baby boy, named Shane Patrick. He has three sons, Quincy, Justin and Ruben from his first marriage.[64] Justin Kluivert played for the Ajax Youth Academy having won the B-juniors Eredivisie, the under-17 competition in the Netherlands, and having played in the 2015 edition of the Copa Amsterdam as well. Justin moved to Italian club A.S. Roma in 2018, and currently plays for RB Leipzig on loan from the Italian club.[65][66]

Career statistics


Appearances and goals by club, season and competition[67]
Club Season League Cup Europe Total
Ajax 1994–95 Eredivisie 2518111023621
1995–96 Eredivisie 281563854223
1996–97 Eredivisie 1761042228
Total 70398422910052
Milan 1997–98 Serie A 27663339
Barcelona 1998–99 La Liga 3515313816
1999–2000 La Liga 2615431474425
2000–01 La Liga 3118521254825
2001–02 La Liga 3318001775025
2002–03 La Liga 3616001555121
2003–04 La Liga 21820322610
Total 182901466126257122
Newcastle United 2004–05 Premier League 25662653713
Valencia 2005–06 La Liga 1011051162
PSV 2006–07 Eredivisie 1632030213
Lille 2007–08 Ligue 1 13410144
Career total 34314933119240468205


Appearances and goals by national team and year[68]
National teamYearAppsGoals
Netherlands 199410
Scores and results list the Netherland's goal tally first, score column indicates score after each Kluivert goal.
List of international goals scored by Patrick Kluivert[69]
1.29 March 1995De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands Malta4–04–0UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying
2.13 December 1995Anfield, Liverpool, England Republic of Ireland1–02–0UEFA Euro 1996 qualifying
4.18 June 1996Wembley Stadium, London, England England1–41–4UEFA Euro 1996
5.29 March 1997Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands San Marino1–04–01998 FIFA World Cup qualification
6.6 September 1997De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands Belgium2–03–11998 FIFA World Cup qualification
7.24 February 1998Pro Player Stadium, Miami Gardens, United States Mexico1–03–2Friendly
9.1 June 1998Philips Stadion, Eindhoven, Netherlands Paraguay3–15–1Friendly
10.5 June 1998Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands Nigeria3–05–1Friendly
12.4 July 1998Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France Argentina1–02–11998 FIFA World Cup
13.7 July 1998Stade Vélodrome, Marseille, France Brazil1–11–11998 FIFA World Cup
14.5 June 1999Estádio Octávio Mangabeira, Nazaré, Brazil Brazil1–22–2Friendly
15.4 September 1999De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands Belgium3–25–5Friendly
18.23 February 2000Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands Germany1–02–1Friendly
19.29 March 2000King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels, Belgium Belgium1–22–2Friendly
21.27 May 2000Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands Romania2–02–1Friendly
22.4 June 2000Stade Olympique de la Pontaise, Lausanne, Switzerland Poland2–13–1Friendly
24.16 June 2000De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands Denmark1–03–0UEFA Euro 2000
25.21 June 2000Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands France1–13–2UEFA Euro 2000
26.25 June 2000De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands FR Yugoslavia1–06–1UEFA Euro 2000
29.7 October 2000GSP Stadium, Nicosia, Cyprus Cyprus4–04–02002 FIFA World Cup qualification
30.24 March 2001Mini Estadi, Barcelona, Spain Andorra1–05–02002 FIFA World Cup qualification
31.28 March 2001Estádio das Antas, Porto, Portugal Portugal2–02–22002 FIFA World Cup qualification
32.25 April 2001Philips Stadion, Eindhoven, Netherlands Cyprus3–04–02002 FIFA World Cup qualification
33.2 June 2001Lilleküla Stadium, Tallinn, Estonia Estonia3–24–22002 FIFA World Cup qualification
34.13 February 2002Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, Netherlands England1–01–1Friendly
35.7 September 2002Philips Stadion, Eindhoven, Netherlands Belarus2–03–0UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
36.20 November 2002Arena AufSchalke, Gelsenkirchen, Germany Germany1–03–1Friendly
37.30 April 2003Philips Stadion, Eindhoven, Netherlands Portugal1–01–1Friendly
38.7 June 2003Dinamo Stadium, Minsk, Belarus Belarus2–02–0UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
39.6 September 2003De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands Austria2–13–1UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying
40.11 October 2003Philips Stadion, Eindhoven, Netherlands Moldova1–05–0UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying


As of 7 June 2016
Team From To Record
G W D L Win % Ref.
Curaçao 4 March 2015[70] 7 June 2016 12 6 3 3 050.00 [70]




  • Eredivisie: 1994–95, 1995–96
  • Super Cup: 1994, 1995
  • UEFA Champions League: 1994–95
  • UEFA Super Cup: 1995
  • Intercontinental Cup: 1995



  • Eredivisie: 2006–07




Jong FC Twente[71]

  • Beloften Eredivisie: 2011–12


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