Monday, June 04, 2007

Former Fenerbahce Star Hooijdonk Retires

Former Fenerbahce Star Hooijdonk Retires
By Nathan L. Redd

Former Fenerbahce star Pierre van Hooijdonk quietly bid farewell to football in May after an illustrious 18-year career. Fenerbahce fans best remember Hooijdonk as the charismatic star who scored 24 goals for the Yellow Canaries in only 34 games, helping Fener win the Super Lig title in 2003-2004. Hooijdonk began his career in 1989 with RBC Roosendaal and scored 33 goals in his first two seasons.

In 1994, Hooijdonk joined Celtic of Scotland and scored 26 goals during the 1995-1996 season. He left Glasgow for Nottingham Forest of England. Nottingham Forest was immediately relegated, but Hooijdonk continued his goal-scoring barrage with 29 goals, sending them back to the Premiership the following year. He would go on to join Benfica and Feyenoord Rotterdam, the team he supported as a child. A successful campaign in Holland led Fenerbahce to sign him to a deal prior to 2003. Hooijdonk continued to be the goal-scoring machine he had been throughout Europe, and Fenerbahce fans nicknamed him "Aziz Pierre" or "Saint Pierre." In mid-2005, Hooijdonk left to sign with NAC, and then again signed with Feyenoord Rotterdam. He announced at the beginning of the 2006-2007 season that it would be his last. On May 13, 2007 , Hooijdonk played his final game with Feyenoord, a draw against FC Groningen. Glasgow Celtic and Glasgow Rangers were reportedly interested in signing the 37-year-old star, but Hooijdonk left the game instead.

Although Pierre Van Hooijdonk's tenure was short in Kadikoy, it is easy to see that more than three years later, Fenerbahce fans still remember the contributions he made to help them secure a championship. Thanks to Pierre Van Hooijdonk, who is a member of the elite fraternity of former Fenerbahce footballers.


Blogger Emre Kizilkaya said...

Van Hooijdonk is one of the few legendary foreigners of Fenerbahce. I wore his shirt in our last match against Ankaragucu, which he also watched in the stadium.

We're sure that he would be back to Fener soon, as a manager.

3:55 PM  
Blogger Murat said...

He is a great character, as a footballer and more importantly as a person.
I also think and hope he comes back to Fener to serve in the future. He is loved there.

3:02 AM  

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