Home comforts for troubled Pat

On the international front, Patrick Kluivert has an impressive goals-to-games ratio but there is a feeling he has still not really achieved as much as he could, writes Andy Hampson.

Explosive but mercurial striker Patrick Kluivert is currently plying his trade back in Holland with PSV Eindhoven after spells with some of Europe's biggest clubs, including Ajax, AC Milan and Barcelona.

With 40 goals, he is Holland's all-time leading goal-scorer but he has been overlooked for international selection in the past two years by national coach Marco van Basten.

In 2004 he was named as one of the 125 greatest living footballers by world governing body FIFA.

Kluivert was born in Amsterdam of Surinamese descent and hit the big time with Ajax as a teenager.

He graduated from the club's famed youth academy after being spotted playing for a club called Schellingwoude in the city's northern suburbs and made a goal-scoring first-team debut against Feyenoord in the Dutch Supercup in August 1994.

He truly hit the headlines when he scored the winning goal in the 1995 European Cup final against AC Milan and then he fired Holland into Euro 96 with the decisive goal in a play-off against Ireland.

Interest in him rocketed and after remaining in Holland until the end of the 1996-97 season, he moved to AC Milan on a free transfer.

Kluivert's career in Milan never really took off due to some serious off-field problems and he was to spend just a single season there. Firstly, he was convicted for his role in a fatal car accident and was given community service and a driving ban. He was also accused of rape on a separate occasion but was subsequently cleared.

He scored only six goals for Milan and it was at Barcelona, where he was reunited with his Ajax mentor Louis van Gaal, that he began to fulfil his potential. He formed a formidable strike partnership with Rivaldo and his goals helped Barca retain the Primera Liga title in 1999.

Barca fell into a period of relative decline after that and when their modern revival began in 2003, Kluivert was starting to fall down the pecking order. He was attracting more headlines for his off-field antics, having developed a taste for the high life and his performances suffered.

Few tears were shed when one of the club's high earners was released to join English Premier League side Newcastle in 2004.

His arrival at St. James' Park attracted much hype, particularly as he would be linking up with the prolific Alan Shearer, but it was the start of an unhappy, injury-marred, years. He spent just one season at Newcastle and then had one at Valencia, failing to impress at either.

He agreed to a one-year deal with PSV in the summer of 2006 but, yet again, is still to prove his worth due to persistent injuries. On the international front, Kluivert has an impressive goals-to-games ratio but there is a feeling he has still not really achieved as much as he could.

His appearances in Euro 96 were limited due to a knee injury and he was sent off for elbowing against Belgium in the 1998 World Cup.

He did finish joint-top goal-scorer at Euro 2000 but by Holland's next major tournament, Euro 2004, he was out of favour having failed to impress playing in a role behind Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Since then, Van Basten has changed the side, easing out stars such as Clarence Seedorf, Edgar Davids and Roy Makaay. Partly because of his injuries, Kluivert has also been continually left out.

On the field, the past three seasons have been the most trying time in Kluivert's career. He managed 13 goals in all competitions at Newcastle but he was often short of fitness and his commitment was often questioned. His much-anticipated partnership with Alan Shearer failed to fire and it was little surprise when the club and the player decided to end their relationship after one season. Kluivert attempted to revive his career back in Spain with Valencia but was only able to manage 202 minutes on the field during the 2005-06 season due to injury.

Kluivert's marriage to Angela, the mother of his three children, ended in divorce in 2004. Kluivert was banned from driving following his conviction in 1996. His criminal record was later to cause problems in the U.S. when he was reportedly refused entry to the country while on a pre-season tour with Barcelona.

During his time at Newcastle, Kluivert was known to drive a Hummer H2, the huge SUV that almost resembles a truck and is popular with Premier League players.

FACTFILE Name: Patrick Kluivert Position: Striker Club: PSV Eindhoven DOB: 01/07/76 Holland Caps: 79 Holland Goals: 40

Holland debut: v Czech Republic, November 1994

Moment to remember

More than a decade has passed since Kluivert made his name but his emergence as a fresh young talent remains perhaps the most exciting spell of his career. His 85th-minute winner for Ajax in that UEFA Champions League final in 1995 in Vienna was an exhilarating moment.

Moment to forget

Kluivert saw red in his first World Cup when he elbowed Belgium's Lorenzo Staelens for allegedly calling him a "rapist" in a group match in Paris. He incurred a two-game ban.

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