Klass-Jan Huntelaar is known as one of the best strikers on the Netherlands national team, which just happens to be one of the best teams in the world. As the best of the best, Huntelaar is a threat to the top goalkeepers in the world that oppose him on a penalty kick. Watch the video above to see some of his best goals.
Here’s what you need to know about him:
1. He Scored in Both the 2010 and 2014 World Cups
In the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, Huntelaar was subbed in for his teammate Robin van Persie in the 58th minutes during a match against Cameroon and ended up scoring a goal for the Netherlands in the 83rd minute to win the game 2-1. The Netherlands claimed runner up that year behind Spain.
In this year’s FIFA World Cup, Huntelaar was used as a substitute but was thrown in during the round of 16 match against Mexico and assisted teammate Wesley Sneijder’s goal to bring them to even after a one goal deficit. The game went into overtime where Huntelaar was chosen to take the penalty kick which he netted in order to clinch the 2-1 victory and carry the Netherlands into the quarterfinals which is featured below.
2. He Has Played for 8 Different Club Teams
Since his professional career began 12 years ago (2002), Huntelaar has played for 8 different teams professionally, two of them on loan.
The clubs include:
De Graafschap (loan) (2003)
AGOVV (loan) (2003–2004)
Real Madrid (2009)
Milan 2009 (2010)
Schalke 04 (2010- )
He has remained on his current team, Shalke 04 for 4 years, the longest period of time he has remained on a team and has scored 59 goals in 100 appearances for them so far, however his contract just ended this year.
3. Liverpool is Interested in Attaining Him
Now that Huntelaar’s contract with Schalke 04 is nearing an end, rumors are flying that Liverpool is looking to grab Huntelaar since they are most likely losing their top striker, Luis Suarez, to Barcelona this year.
Huntelaar told media he would figure out what he was going to do after the World Cup is finished, but is looking for a deal with another team.
General Manager of FC Schalke 04 Horst Heldt is planning on keeping Huntelaar for himself and is avoiding a deal with Liverpool.
He announced on the team website:
Most recently, I’ve read that Liverpool FC should have interest in Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. Liverpool, Klaas-Jan and also his adviser have not contacted us. And we also have no interest in selling the player.”
4. His Signed a Youth Contract at the Age of 11
Huntelaar has been playing on a soccer club since the age of 5. By the age of 11, he was chosen to play for Go Ahead Eagles, a youth team, but was unable to join due to difficulties with travel demands.
Luckily he was scouted by De Graafschap right after and was able to sign with the youth club when he was still 11 years old. He moved through the ranks at the youth club as a striker and when he was 14, he tallied 33 goals in 20 matches in the 1997-1998 season. By the time he was 16, the standout player caught the eye of PSV who signed him in 2000 to kick off his pro career.
5. He Has Been With His Girlfriend Since 2000
Huntelaar has been dating his girlfriend Maddy Schoolderman for 14 years now (since 2000) and the couple has two children together. In 2009, Schoolderman gave birth to their first son, Seb and then two years later in 2011 their second son , Axel was born.
Despite the fact that they are merely extensions other at this point, the couple has yet to have tied the knot.