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Hans van Breukelen

Personal information
Full nameJohannes Franciscus van Breukelen
Date of birthOctober 4, 1956(age 60)
Place of birthUtrecht, Netherlands
Height1.88 m
Playing positionGoalkeeper
Club information
Current clubRetired

     Home | Football Player | Hans van Breukelen

Johannes Franciscus "Hans" van Breukelen (-nlˈjoː.ɦɑ.nəs 'frɑn.sɪs.kʏs ˈɦɑns vɐn ˈbrøː.kə.lə(n)) (born October 4, 1956 in Utrecht) is a former footballer from the Netherlands.

Van Breukelen grew up in De Bilt. He was a goalkeeper for PSV Eindhoven and the Dutch national team during the 1980s. His professional debut came for FC Utrecht in March 1977, and he became their first-choice keeper in the 1978 79 season, helping them to a KNVB Cup final in 1982.

After playing well he was called up to the national team, making his debut against Germany on October 11, 1980. Two years later, in September 1982, he was bought by English team Nottingham Forest for £200 000 as a replacement for Peter Shilton. Keeping a clean sheet in his debut, things went well for van Breukelen, until he sustained an injury which sidelined him for almost four months. Having recovered from the injury towards the end of March 1983, he once again played regularly and helped Forest to an unbeaten spell of nine league matches, securing a place in the UEFA cup.

In the 1983 84 season van Breukelen played 36 of 42 league matches, helping the team to a league position of third (six points behind Liverpool) and a UEFA Cup semi final, where they were eliminated by Anderlecht after the Belgian club had bribed the referee in the second leg.

After two seasons in England, Van Breukelen returned to the Netherlands and PSV Eindhoven. Here he became Dutch champion four times in a row (1986 - 1989). 1988 was a great year for van Breukelen as his team won the European Champion Clubs' Cup, in the final he saved a crucial penalty kick during the shootout.

In addition, he helped the national team win the European Championship for the first time, defeating the Soviet Union by 2 - 0 in the final. Again by stopping a penalty by Igor Belanov in the match.

Van Breukelen also played at the 1990 FIFA World Cup, as well as the 1992 European Championship where the Netherlands lost to Denmark in the semi final. That match was van Breukelen's 73rd and last on the international level. He took two more league titles (1991 and 1992) with PSV, and retired after the 1993 94 season.

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