- Height: 5'8"
- Weight: 161
- Date of birth: March 29, 1973
- Birthplace: Emst, Netherlands
- Pro Debut: 1990
- Last Game: 2004 European Championships semifinal: Netherlands vs. Portugal
- Position: Left winger
The soccer equivalent of a switch-hitter, Marc Overmars had the rare ability to use both his feet with equal precision and power. He combined this ambidexterity with blazing speed to launch offensive excursions into opposition territory for powerhouse club teams such as Ajax and Arsenal as well as the Dutch national team.
Overmars’ first senior pro club was the Dutch side Go Ahead Eagles, who purchased him from a junior squad in 1990. During the 1991 season, he was transferred to Willem II Tilburg, and the following year AFC Ajax Amsterdam brought him to the international stage. In 1993, Overmars made his Dutch national team debut against Turkey, and by the 1994 World Cup, Overmars had made himself an integral part of the Dutch squad, leading them to the semifinals of the 1998 World Cup against Brazil (which they lost on penalty kicks). Overmars was the member of the Ajax team that won the European Cup in 1995 against A.C. Milan of Italy. Despite a serious right knee injury in 1996, the next year Overmars was signed by Premier League powerhouse Arsenal, for which his prodigious skills fully flowered. His most-remembered goals were in the 1998 FA Cup final and in a 1-0 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford, which helped Arsenal to the Double (winning both the FA Cup and the British Premier League in the same season).
In the summer of 2000, he moved to Spain and joined FC Barcelona, for £25 million which made him the most highly paid Dutch player ever. Despite a difficult first term at his new club, Overmars was still an impressive performer, registering eight goals in 31 appearances. He was a regular feature of Barcelona's 2001-02 UEFA Champions League campaign in which he scored once in 10 matches en route to the semifinals. Unfortunately for the former Arsenal star, he failed to inspire FC Barcelona to any trophy success. After the Netherlands failed to qualify for 2002 World Cup, the last major international tournament that Overmars played in was Euro 2004 in Portugal. By then, a persistent knee injury gradually had debilitated him, and after consulting with his doctors, he announced his retirement from professional soccer in 2004. After his retirement he started working as a director for his first team, Deventer side Go Ahead Eagles.
Career Highlights, Awards, and Accolades:
- Scored 17 goals in 86 games for the Dutch national team
- Youngest player to reach 50 caps (games played) for Dutch national team
- 15 years of international play