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Ruud: The Powerhouse
Around the Academy:

What's so special about Ruud van Nistelrooy?
There will be no player more determined to prove himself in Portugal.

Man United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has amazingly never played in a major finals before.

So what's so good about this Dutch master finisher?

As one football pundit said, "his strength is his strength!"

And Van Nistelrooy has barrow loads of it.

Not only in his six foot frame, but inside his head.

Four years ago his grit and determination were tested to the max when a knee injury flared up in training and a dream move to Old Trafford fell through.

Ruud's strong and got plenty of skill
Ruud's career's been a rollercoaster ride

His strength of character soon counted for everything during his rehabilitation.

And after a year of blood, sweat and tears, his 19million move was completed.

But it's in front of the sticks where Ruud really uses his powers.

Even Harry Potter must wonder how the great Dutchman combines his strength with elegance.

He might not have the canny skills of Thierry Henry, but Van Nistelrooy's danger lies in his direct runs at the heart of defences.

It's a defender's nightmare. Next time the ball is passed up front towards Ruud, you check out what he does.

He'll shield his marker off the ball, either look up to pass or use his lightening feet to turn and go straight for goal.

A record of over a hundred goals for his club in three years and a strike rate of almost one in every two games for his country speaks for itself.

And his variety of goals is more colourful than a field of Dutch tulips.

Tap-ins, one-on-ones with the keeper, penalties, headers or rasping shots.

That is one full locker and could explode this summer.

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What's a Euro Star?
Becks: Pass Master
Henry: Speed King
Gerrard: Engine
Zidane: Le God
Nedved: Cannon
Ruud: Powerhouse

Ruud van Nistelrooy facts
Born: 1 July 1976
Birthplace: Oss, Holland
Height: 6ft 2in
Weight: 12st 7
Clubs: Man Utd, PSV Eindhoven, Den Bosch
Holland caps: 30
Holland goals: 14

Did you know?
Ruud's full name is Rutgerus Johannes Martinius Ruud van Nistelrooy

Another Ruud fact
In the 2002/3 season Ruud scored 44 goals in all competitions for Man Utd - a club record

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