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Ruud van Nistelrooy

Ruud van Nistelrooy (born July 1, 1976 in Oss, North Brabant, Netherlands) is a Dutch footballer signed for Manchester United in 2001 for 19 million, only a year after severely damaging his knee cruciate ligament.

Manchester United had tried to buy van Nistelrooy, commonly abbreviated as RVN, in 2000, but he had a massive knee injury. A strong bond between current Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson was developed, and it is often said Ferguerson "finally got his man" in 2001, once van Nistelrooy had healed.

Since joining United, van Nistelrooy has been nothing short of spectacular. As a forward, RVN's accuracy and tendency to find the back of the net is world-class. He is also considered one of the best at penalty kicks in football.

During his first season at Manchester United, Ruud started out slow, but was on fire once Champions League competition began. He played in 32 games and netted 23 goals and scored in a record eight straight FA Premier League games. He scored 10 Champions League goals and was named the Professional Footballers Association's Player of the Year.

His second year, the 2002-2003 season, was even more remarkable than the first. Ruud scored 25 FA Premier League goals and 14 goals in European competition while leading Manchester United to the FA Premier League title.

Ruud's talent is phenominal. His known combination of strength and finishing is lethal, and is vast becoming a legend (and a fear with defenders).