Frank Rijkaard Biography

Frank Rijkaard, a retired Dutch footballer and successful manager, is widely recognized as one of the greatest defensive midfielders in the history of the game. Starting his career at Ajax Amsterdam, he quickly became a regular in the national team and helped them secure numerous trophies. Rijkaard’s authoritative style of play at AC Milan revolutionized the role of defensive midfielders. Returning to Ajax, he played as a central defender and contributed to their UEFA Champions League victory. As a coach, Rijkaard led the Dutch national team and achieved remarkable success with Barcelona.

Quick Facts

  • Also Known As: Franklin Edmundo Rijkaard
  • Age: 61 Years, 61 Year Old Males
  • Family:
    • Spouse/Ex-: Carmen Sandries, Monique Olgers, Stefanie Rucker
    • Father: Herman Rijkaard
    • Mother: Neel van der Meulen
    • Children: Ceejay, Lindsay, Mitchel, Santi Rijkaard
  • Football Players
  • Dutch Men
  • Height: 6’3″ (190 cm), 6’3″ Males
  • Ancestry: Surinamese Dutch
  • City: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Childhood & Early Life

Frank Edmundo Rijkaard, better known as Frank Rijkaard, was born on 30 September 1962 in Amsterdam, Netherlands. He was born to Dutch Surinamese immigrant Herman Rijkaard and his Dutch wife. His father was a professional footballer who played for Surinamese club SV Robinhood and Dutch first division club FC Bauw-Wit. Information about his early education or school is not available. It is believed that he played street football like many successful footballers of his era.

Career

Rijkaard’s talent as a defensive midfielder was spotted early by Ajax manager Leo Beenhakker. He was drafted into the senior team at the age of 17 and debuted for Ajax in the first game of the season on 23 August 1980. He scored on debut as Ajax won the game 4-2 against Go Ahead Eagles. He became a regular in the starting eleven in his very first season.

In his second season, Rijkaard started playing as a central defender for Ajax. At the conclusion of the season in 1982, Ajax were crowned champions of the Dutch first division. He also made his international debut for Netherlands a year earlier. He helped the club win the league title as well as the Dutch Cup the following season.

In the season that began in 1985, Rijkaard started playing in the midfield and alternated between right wing and central midfield. At the end of the season, he helped Ajax win the Dutch Cup. During his time at the club, he helped them win three league titles and four Dutch cups along with a Cup Winners Cup. However, due to disagreements with manager Johann Cryuff, his time at the club came to an end.

After leaving Ajax in 1987, Rijkaard was signed by Portuguese club Sporting CP but was rendered ineligible due to signing after the deadline. He was loaned out to Spanish side Real Zaragoza for a season before moving to Italian side AC Milan.

At AC Milan, Rijkaard developed into one of the best defensive midfielders in the game. He helped the club win the European Cup at the end of the season and was an important member of the Dutch national team that won the European Championships. He represented the Netherlands at the 1990 World Cup and played 73 times for the national team.

Rijkaard formed the midfield backbone of AC Milan, helping them win two league titles and two European Cup crowns. He then returned to his old club Ajax for two seasons and helped them win the league as well as the European Cup in his second season.

After retiring from playing, Rijkaard served as an assistant coach for the Dutch national team and later became the manager. He also managed Barcelona, leading them to success in the UEFA Champions League. However, he had little success with Barcelona in the following years and was eventually sacked. He also had managerial stints with other clubs before being appointed as the manager of the Saudi Arabia national football team.

Awards & Achievements

Rijkaard was included in the ‘FIFA 100’ by Pele, which is a list of the 100 greatest living players in the world. He was also inducted into the AC Milan Hall of Fame and was awarded the UEFA Manager of the Year award for the 2005-06 season.

Personal Life & Legacy

Rijkaard has been married twice. His first marriage to Carmen Sanders ended in divorce. They have a daughter named Lindsay. He then married Monique Olgers, but this marriage also ended in divorce. They have a son named Mitchel. Rijkaard has two sons, Santi and Ceejay, from an affair with household nanny Stefanie Rucker.

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