Sunday, July 3, 2011

3 July 1947 - Rensenbrink On The Rise

On 3 July 1947, forward Rob Rensenbrink was born in Amsterdam. He went on to star for Anderlecht and the Netherlands, winning the 1976 Onze d'Or.

He started his career in 1965 as an amateur with his hometown club DWS, then signed a professional contract with Brugge in 1969. In two seasons there, he scored 24 goals in 55 league appearances and won his first silverware, the 1970 Belgian Cup, before moving to Anderlecht in 1971. At Anderlecht, he continued the success that began in Brugge, winning four more Belgian Cups (1972, 1973, 1975, 1976) and two league titles (1972, 1974). He also enjoyed European success, twice winning both the Cup Winners' Cup (1976, 1978) and the UEFA Super Cup (1976, 1978). In 1976, he won the inaugural Onze d'Or, chosen by the readers of French magazine Onze Mondial.

He earned his first cap for the Netherlands in 1968, but labored under the shadow of Johan Cruyff, who played in Rensenbrink's preferred left forward position. To accommodate both of them, coach Rinus Michels played Rensenbrink on the left wing for the 1974 World Cup with the Netherlands finishing as runners-up to West Germany.

By 1978, Cruyff had retired, so Rensenbrink moved up to the now-vacant forward spot. The Dutch again advanced to the final, where Rensenbrink nearly gave them the win--in the last few seconds, with the match level, he fired from a narrow angle and just missed the goal, instead striking the post. Argentina went on to win the match in extra time.

He retired in 1982 after brief spells with the Portland Timbers (1980) and Toulouse (1981-82).

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