Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

Infobox Football biography
playername= Klaas-Jan Huntelaar

fullname =
dateofbirth = Birth date and age|mf=yes|1983|8|12
cityofbirth = Voor-Drempt
countryofbirth = Netherlands
height = Height|m=1.86
position = Striker
currentclub = Ajax
clubnumber = 9
youthyears = 1988–1994
youthclubs = v.v. H. en K.
De Graafschap
PSV Eindhoven
years = 2002–2004
clubs = PSV Eindhoven
De Graafschap
SC Heerenveen
caps(goals) = 01 0(0)
09 0(0)
35 (26)
46 (34)
85 (71)
nationalyears = 2004–2006
nationalteam = Netherlands U21
nationalcaps(goals) = 22 (18)
17 0(10)
pcupdate = September 6, 2008
ntupdate = September 21, 2008

Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (born August 12, 1983) is a Dutch footballer who plays as a striker for AFC Ajax and the Netherlands. He previously played for PSV Eindhoven, De Graafschap, AGOVV Apeldoorn and SC Heerenveen.

Various media outlets have noted him as a rising star in Dutch football, being named Dutch Football Talent of the Year and Ajax "Player of the year" in 2006. Due to his goal-scoring ability he has earned the nickname "The Hunter", a play on his last name.cite web | title= Goal.com Profile: Klaas Jan Huntelaar | publisher=Goal.com | url=http://www.goal.com/en/Giocatore.aspx?IdPersona=8421&SEOPlayerName=Klaas-Jan+Huntelaar |date=2007-05-13| accessdate=2007-09-24 ] He was a part of the Dutch side that won the 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship, where he became the tournament's leading goal-scorer. He was also named in the UEFA Team of the Tournament. He is the all-time highest goal-scorer for the Netherlands U21 squad with 18 goals in 22 matches. In domestic football he was Eredivisie's top scorer in the 2005–06 season with 33 goals in 31 games. He also became the top scorer in the 2007–08 season with 33 goals in 34 appearances.


Huntelaar was born in Drempt, a village in the Achterhoek region of Netherlands, but moved to Hummelo when he was six weeks old.nl cite web | title= Biografie van Klaas-Jan Huntelaar | publisher=Official Klaas-Jan Huntelaar website| url=http://www.klaasjanhuntelaar.com/site/index.php?p=3 | accessdate=2007-09-24 ] He lived with parents Dirk-Jan and Maud Huntelaar, and his two brothers Niek and Jelle. Like his two brothers, at the age of five Huntelaar joined the local football team v.v. H. en K. (football club Hummelo and Keppel) where he played for the next six years.

Huntelaar was scouted as a youth talent by Go Ahead Eagles, however, the distance required to travel prohibited him from joining the team from Deventer. Soon after he was scouted by De Graafschap where on April 6, 1994 he signed his first youth contract, aged eleven. During his first two years with De Graafschap, Huntelaar played as a left back, left winger, attacking midfielder, and even as a goalkeeper; only in his third year was he deployed as a striker. In the 1997–98 season, the now 14 year old Huntelaar was the first striker for the C-team at De Graafschap, and scored 33 goals in 20 matches. The following season saw him promoted to the B1 team, and in the 1999–00 season he became top scorer of the B1 league with 31 goals. His goal-scoring abilities drew the attention of PSV Eindhoven, who signed him in June 2000.

Huntelaar is a striker who plays as a centre forward, or an "out-and-out" striker, rather than as a supporting striker. He has a good technical ability and can score goals with his head and with either foot. In an October 2007 interview Huntelaar stressed the importance of fitness to his game: "You have to work on every area but I would say that physical fitness is absolutely essential, especially in big games. I need to stay sharp and keep my speed up over 90 minutes, from the kick-off right through to the final whistle. That's fundamental."cite web | title= Classy Huntelaar thinking big | publisher=FIFA.com | url=http://www.fifa.com/worldfootball/clubfootball/news/newsid=609374.html |date=2007-10-01| accessdate=2007-10-19 ] He has been compared in playing style to Marco van Basten and Fernando Morientes.cite web | title= Huntelaar class shines through | publisher=UEFA.com | url=http://www.uefa.com/magazine/news/Kind=512/newsId=383257.html |date=2006-01-13| accessdate=2007-10-15 ] Real Madrid C.F. manager Bernd Schuster has said of the player "It seems like they have cloned him from Marco van Basten. His way of moving, shooting with both feet and heading power all remind me of Van Basten."cite web | title= Huntelaar follows Van Basten | publisher=UEFA.com | url=http://www.euro2008.uefa.com/news/kind=1/newsid=679712.html |date=2008-04-04| accessdate=2008-04-07 ]

Huntelaar has received praise from defenders that have had the task of marking him. Dutch international central defender Barry Opdam has said "He can easily move in between defense and our midfield, leaving most of us confused. He is smart. He can predict what his team mates do and what we will do in response. He also uses his body smartly. At the right time, before the cross or pass comes in, he’ll nudge you. That gives him those extra seconds or that extra half a yard. He has grown enormously, in particular physically."cite web | title= Klaas Jan Huntelaar: his opponents talk! | publisher=World Cup Blog | url= http://netherlands.worldcupblog.org/world-cup-2010/klaas-jan-huntelaar-his-opponents-talk.html | date=2008-07-02| accessdate=2008-07-03 ] PSV Eindhoven’s Dirk Marcellis has said "You can only stop Huntelaar if you stop the whole team from playing football. He is a smart chap, using his body in a good way. He may not look it, but he is very strong. Never mean, though. Just smart. Little nudges, a quick pull on the jersey, those kind of things. He sometimes looks distracted, but that’s just his thing. He uses that to lull you to sleep." Swiss defender Stephan Keller states: "How to stop Huntelaar? Pfff…no idea. The thing is, everything he does, every move is thought about. He sees the game so well and he has the ability to sense when you’re just not paying attention and then he’s gone. He is the best I’ve ever seen. He will definitely make it big in Europe somewhere." On July 2, 2007, Huntelaar signed a sponsorship deal with Nike, having previously been under contract with Adidas. [nl cite web | title= Huntelaar verandert van merk | publisher=Voetbelkrant | url=http://www.voetbalkrant.com/index.php?menu=Nieuws&pag=Lezen&nieuws=151637 |date=2007-07-02 | accessdate=2007-07-07 ] His agent is Arnold Oosterveer, and not Vincenzo Morabito as has often been incorrectly been reported in the media. [cite web | title= Huntelaar agent rubbishes Madrid claim | publisher=Setanta Sports | url= http://www.setantasports.com/en/Sport/News/Football/2008/06/04/Liga-Huntelaar-not-going-to-Madrid/?facets/sport-space/great-britain-locale/football/ | date=2008-06-04| accessdate=2008-06-05 ] [cite web | title= Real Madrid reports anger Huntelaar's agent | publisher=ESPN Soccernet | url= http://soccernet.espn.go.com/news/story?id=542443&&cc=5739 | date=2008-06-04| accessdate=2008-07-03 ]



In his first season at PSV, Huntelaar quickly established himself as a prolific goalscorer for their A1 youth team under coach Willy van der Kuijlen (the all-time top scorer in the Eredivisie with 311 goals), scoring 26 goals in 23 games to become top scorer in the youth league. In his second season at PSV, Huntelaar was added to Guus Hiddink's senior team, but failed to secure a place in the starting line-up. He made his first team debut as a substitute for Mateja Kežman on November 23, 2002 in a 0–3 away win over RBC Roosendaal. This turned out to be his only Eredivisie appearance for the club. [nl cite web | title= RBC Roosendaal - PSV (23-11-2002) | publisher=PSV Eindhoven | url=http://www.psv.nl/web/show/id=120345/dbid=95974/typeofpage=55010 | date=2002-11-23| accessdate=2007-09-24 ]

De Graafschap

Having failed to establish himself in the PSV first team, Huntelaar was sent on loan to his old club De Graafschap. He made his senior debut for De Graafschap on February 8, 2003, coming on as a substitute for Hans van de Haar against RBC Roosendaal. [nl cite web | title= 08-02-2003 - RBC Roosendaal - De Graafschap (1 - 0) | publisher=De Graafschap | url=http://server.mijngraafschap.nl/graafschap/html/wedstrijdverslagen.php?cmd_wedstrijdvers
| date=2003-02-08| accessdate=2007-09-24
] He made his first appearance in the starting lineup on February 16, 2003 as De Graafschap were beaten 1–5 by his future employer SC Heerenveen. [nl cite web | title= 16-02-2003 - De Graafschap - SC Heerenveen (1 - 5) | publisher=De Graafschap | url=http://server.mijngraafschap.nl/graafschap/html/wedstrijdverslagen.php?cmd_wedstrijdvers
| date=2003-02-16| accessdate=2007-09-24
] He made his final appearance in the squad on May 29, 2003 as De Graafschap lost 2–1 to FC Zwolle, confirming their demotion from the Eredivisie. [nl cite web | title= 29-05-2003 - FC Zwolle - De Graafschap (2 - 1) | publisher=De Graafschap | url=http://server.mijngraafschap.nl/graafschap/html/wedstrijdverslagen.php?cmd_wedstrijdvers
| date=2003-05-29| accessdate=2007-09-24
] In total, Huntelaar made nine Eredivisie appearances for "the Super Farmers" but failed to score, and De Graafschap decided not to extend his contract. [nl cite web | title= De Graafschap ziet af van langer huren van Huntelaar | publisher=Sport1 | url=http://www1.sport1.nl/Voetbal/Nieuws/6843/De-Graafschap-ziet-af-van-langer-huren-van-Huntelaar.html | date=2003-06-21| accessdate=2007-09-24 ] Klaas-Jan's uncle, Cor Huntelaar, was financial director of De Graafschap at the time of his death and was remembered by the club during a tribute match against Heracles Almelo on March 15, 2008. [nl cite web | title= De Graafschap herdenkt Cor Huntelaar groots | publisher=Soccernews.nl | url=http://www.soccernews.nl/news/42977 | date=2008-03-15| accessdate=2008-03-16 ]


At the start of the 2003–04 season Huntelaar was again sent on loan, this time to newly-promoted Eerste Divisie side AGOVV Apeldoorn under coach Jurrie Koolhof. [nl cite web | title= Klaas-Jan Huntelaar profiel | publisher=NOS Studio Sport | url=http://www.nos.nl/nosstudiosport/voetbal/Oranje/portretjes_oranje/hunterlaar_klaas-jan.html | date=2007-09-10| accessdate=2007-09-24 ] He was an instant success, scoring on his debut for AGOVV against TOP Oss. [nl cite web | title= AGOVV Club historie | publisher=AGOVV | url=http://www.agovv.nl/index.php?id_page=49 | accessdate=2007-09-16 ] In his second league game for AGOVV, Huntelaar scored a hat-trick against Heracles Almelo. [nl cite web | title= Eerste overwinning AGOVV | publisher=Sport1 | url=http://www1.sport1.nl/Voetbal/Nieuws/9344/Eerste-overwinning-AGOVV.html | date=2003-08-23| accessdate=2007-10-17 ] Huntelaar went on to score 26 times in his 35 league appearances and finished the season as the division's top goalscorer, and was named "Player of the Year" for the Eerste Divisie (First Division).nl cite web | title= Huntelaar verkozen tot speler van het seizoen | publisher=Sport1 | url=http://www1.sport1.nl/Voetbal/Nieuws/19695/Huntelaar-verkozen-tot-speler-van-het-seizoen.html | date=2004-06-02| accessdate=2007-10-17 ] In 2007, AGOVV named one of the stands at Sportpark Berg & Bos the "Klaas-Jan Huntelaar stand". [nl cite web | title= Huntelaar krijgt eigen tribune bij AGOVV | publisher=Trouw | url=http://www.trouw.nl/laatstenieuws/laatstenieuws/article793733.ece/Huntelaar_krijgt_eigen_tribune_bij_AGOVV | date=2007-09-11| accessdate=2007-08-23 ]

C Heerenveen

After Huntelaar turned down the opportunity to sign a new contract with PSV, Frisian club SC Heerenveen moved in to sign him for a transfer fee of €100,000. The player has since explained his decision not to renew his contract with PSV, saying "I was there for two years and when I turned 18 I was loaned out to De Graafschap, where I'd played between the ages of 10 and 16, and then to AgoVV. When I went back to PSV the second time, I wasn't playing and the club didn't offer me anything specific. I just wanted to play and work on my game." Heerenveen chairman Riemer van der Velde described what the club expected from the player: "He is a young, scoring striker who has undergone a good development last season. He will have to prove himself on a higher level, but I expect that he can benefit us greatly. If Huntelaar can score fifteen goals like Sibon did last season, we can't complain"." [nl cite web | title= Heerenveen en PSV eens over Huntelaar | publisher=Friesch Dagblad | url=http://www.frieschdagblad.nl/index.asp?artid=19009 |date=2004-06-29| accessdate=2007-10-17 Dutch: "Het is een jonge, scorende spits die zich afgelopen seizoen goed heeft ontwikkeld. Hij zal zich op een hoger niveau moeten bewijzen, maar ik verwacht dat we een hoop plezier aan hem kunnen beleven. Als Huntelaar er net als Sibon vorig seizoen vijftien maakt mogen we niet klagen."] Huntelaar started the 2004–05 season well by scoring on his Eredivisie debut with Heerenveen against AZ. [nl cite web | title= Uitstekende start Heerenveen tegen AZ: 1-1 | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=122703/typeofpage=41438 |date=2004-08-14| accessdate=2007-09-16 ] Huntelaar also scored in his second game for Heerenveen, against Roda JC, and less than a month later scored a brace to lead Heerenveen to a 3–0 victory against NAC Breda. [nl cite web | title= Heerenveen onderuit in spektakelstuk: 3-4 | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=122738/typeofpage=41438 |date=2004-08-21| accessdate=2007-09-16 ] [nl cite web | title= Huntelaar leidt Heerenveen langs NAC | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=122834/typeofpage=41438 |date=2004-09-18| accessdate=2007-09-16 ] In October, Huntelaar scored two more braces, one against FC Utrecht, and one against FC Den Bosch. [nl cite web | title= Huntelaar schiet Heerenveen laat naar zege | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=122899/typeofpage=41438 |date=2004-10-24| accessdate=2007-09-16 ] [nl cite web | title= Invallers loodsen Heerenveen langs Den Bosch | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=122950/typeofpage=41438 |date=2004-10-31| accessdate=2007-09-16 ] Huntelaar scored more goals against RBC Roosendaal and Willem II Tilburg to take his scoring tally to 10 goals in 17 games at the winter break. [nl cite web | title= Daniël Hestad leidt Heerenveen langs RBC | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=123010/typeofpage=41438 |date=2004-11-20| accessdate=2007-09-17 ] [nl cite web | title= Willem II op valreep langszij bij Heerenveen | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=123067/typeofpage=41438 |date=2004-12-05| accessdate=2007-09-17 ] The striker continued to do well after the winter break, scoring in the first two games of 2005 against FC Den Bosch and NAC Breda. [nl cite web | title= Heerenveen start met kleine zege op Den Bosch | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=123108/typeofpage=41438 |date=2005-01-22| accessdate=2007-09-17 ] [nl cite web | title= Huntelaar redt Heerenveen met late treffer | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=123126/typeofpage=41438 |date=2005-01-30| accessdate=2007-09-17 ] However, he could not continue his good start to the new year and hit a scoring drought; Huntelaar did not score in his next eight league games. It was only in late April that he continued his scoring form with a hat-trick against RBC. [nl cite web | title= Heerenveen geeft arm RBC pak slaag: 7-1 | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=123277/typeofpage=41438 |date=2005-04-22| accessdate=2007-09-18 ] Huntelaar finished the season in style, scoring in the two penultimate games, against FC Groningen and NEC. [nl cite web | title= Zege in derby goed voor Europees voetbal | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=123309/typeofpage=41438 |date=2005-05-15| accessdate=2007-09-18 ] [nl cite web | title= Heerenveen pas na rust langs NEC: 2-1 | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=123321/typeofpage=41438 |date=2005-05-22| accessdate=2007-09-18 ] At the end of the season, Huntelaar had scored a total of 17 goals in 31 matches, and was a decisive factor in helping Heerenveen qualify for the UEFA Cup.

Huntelaar was once again on target in the first league game of the 2005–06 season, against Vitesse. [nl cite web | title= Heerenveen krijgt te weinig tegen Vitesse; 2-2 | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=138358/typeofpage=41438 |date=2005-08-13| accessdate=2007-09-18 ] Klaas-Jan scored again in his second and fourth game of the season, against Roda JC and Heracles, respectively. [nl cite web | title= Ontketend Heerenveen in kraker langs Roda; 5-4 | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=138365/typeofpage=41438 |date=2005-08-20| accessdate=2007-09-18 ] [nl cite web | title= Heerenveen wederom in slotminuten onder uit | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=138386/typeofpage=41438 |date=2005-09-10| accessdate=2007-09-18 ] In October, Huntelaar scored a hat-trick in an away match against NAC Breda, Heerenveen winning 0–3. [nl cite web | title= IJzersterke Huntelaar is NAC te machtig: 0-3 | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=138460/typeofpage=41438 |date=2005-10-15| accessdate=2007-09-23 ] November saw the striker score a brace against FC Groningen and the winning goal against Sparta Rotterdam. [nl cite web | title= Heerenveen veel te sterk voor FC Groningen: 4-0 | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=138510/typeofpage=41438 |date=2005-11-06| accessdate=2007-09-23 ] [nl cite web | title= Heerenveen met moeite langs Sparta: 1-2 | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=138523/typeofpage=41438 |date=2005-11-20| accessdate=2007-09-23 ] December, his final month for Heerenveen, would prove to be productive for Huntelaar as the player scored seven goals in four games, including braces against Willem II, FC Twente, and RKC Waalwijk. [nl cite web | title= Heerenveen poetst 0-3 achterstand weg: 3-3 | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=138576/typeofpage=41438 |date=2005-12-10| accessdate=2007-09-23 ] [nl cite web | title= Huntelaar loodst Heerenveen langs FC Twente | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=138584/typeofpage=41438 |date=2005-12-17| accessdate=2007-09-23 ] [nl cite web | title= Mentaal sterk Heerenveen na rust langszij RKC: 2-2 | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=138608/typeofpage=41438 |date=2005-12-27| accessdate=2007-09-23 ] Huntelaar's final game for the Frisian club was against AFC Ajax, his future employer. Huntelaar was again on target as Heerenveen beat Ajax 4–2. [nl cite web | title= Heerenveen is weer te sterk voor Ajax: 4-2 | publisher=SC Heerenveen | url=http://www.sc-heerenveen.nl/web/show/id=41696/dbid=138627/typeofpage=41438 |date=2005-12-30| accessdate=2007-09-23 ] By the winter break, he had scored 17 goals in 15 matches, which earned him a mid-season transfer to AFC Ajax. Heerenveen received €9 million plus future incentives for the player. [cite web | title= Transfer completed: Huntelaar to join Ajax for 4.5 years | publisher=Ajax USA | url=http://www.ajax-usa.com/news/2005-2006/transfer-completed-huntelaar-to-join-ajax-for-4-5-years.html | date=2005-12-29| accessdate=2007-08-23 ] A substantial sum went to rivals PSV Eindhoven as a result of a training compensation rule imposed by FIFA.



After transferring from Heerenveen during the winter break, Huntelaar struggled in his first month with Ajax. It was only in February, in his fifth match for Ajax, that he scored his first goal, in a Gatorade Cup tie against his old club Heerenveen. [nl cite web | title= Ajax naar halve finale Gatorade Cup door zege op Heerenveen | publisher=Ajax Online | url=http://www.ajaxonline.org/2299.htm | date=2006-02-02| accessdate=2007-08-23 ] Once he had broken his scoring drought, Huntelaar started scoring regularly. During the month of February, Huntelaar scored nine goals in seven matches for Ajax, including a header against Inter Milan on his Champions League debut. [cite web | title= Inter recovery pegs back Ajax | publisher=UEFA.com | url=http://www.uefa.com/competitions/UCL/FixturesResults/Round=2202/match=1102853/Report=RP.html | date=2006-02-22| accessdate=2007-08-23 ] Huntelaar continued his goal-scoring for the rest of the season, and ended as the Dutch league's top scorer, having scored sixteen goals in as many appearances for Ajax, bringing his total for the season to 33 goals in 31 matches.nl cite web | title= Huntelaar evenaart topscorer Cruijff | publisher=KNVB | url=http://www.knvb.nl/archief/clubs/knvb.nl_clubs__competities/huntelaar_evenaart_topscorer_cruijff | date=2006-04-17| accessdate=2007-08-23 ] As Ajax finished second in the Dutch league, they needed to win the European play-offs to secure a place in the third round of the Champions League. In the semis, Ajax faced their rivals Feyenoord, who had finished fourth in the league. In the first leg at the Amsterdam Arena, Ajax crushed Feyenoord 3–0, with Huntelaar scoring the final goal for Ajax. [nl cite web | title= Ajax in Arena ruim langs Feyenoord | publisher=Ajax Online | url=http://www.ajaxonline.org/2747.htm |date=2006-04-20| accessdate=2007-08-23 ] In the second leg, Ajax further humbled Feyenoord by beating them 2–4 in De Kuip. Huntelaar was once again on target, scoring the second goal for Ajax. [nl cite web | title= Ajax bezorgt Feyenoord de ultieme vernedering | publisher=Ajax Online | url=http://www.ajaxonline.org/2764.htm |date=2006-04-23| accessdate=2007-08-23 ] Huntelaar featured in the defeat of FC Groningen in the final two games of the play-offs to secure Ajax Champions League football for next season, although he did not score. [nl cite web | title= Ajax plaatst zich in slotfase voor voorronde Champions League | publisher=Ajax Online | url=http://www.ajaxonline.org/2849.htm |date=2006-05-03| accessdate=2007-08-23 ] Huntelaar scored a bicycle kick during injury time in the KNVB Cup semi-final against Roda JC, which levelled the score at 1–1. Ajax went on to win the game 4–1 after extra time, with Huntelaar scoring another goal in the 109th minute to take them to the final of the Dutch cup, where Ajax faced Huntelaar's old club PSV. [nl cite web | title= Ajax naar bekerfinale na zinderend duel tegen Roda | publisher=Ajax Online | url=http://www.ajaxonline.org/2564.htm |date=2006-03-22| accessdate=2007-08-23 ] In the final Huntelaar scored a brace, including the winning goal, to bring Ajax its 16th KNVB Cup.nl cite web | title= Huntelaar bezorgt Ajax met twee doelpunten de beker | publisher=Ajax Online | url=http://www.ajaxonline.org/2882.htm |date=2006-05-07| accessdate=2007-08-23 ] The season had been Huntelaar's most successful to date, and he was awarded the Eredivisie Johan Cruijff Award award (for talent of the year), and was named Ajax player of the year.nl cite web | title= Huntelaar gekozen tot beste talent | publisher=Sportweek| url=http://www.sportweek.nl/detail.asp?groupid=2&newsid=12036 |date=2006-05-03| accessdate=2007-10-15 ]


When Jaap Stam was named Ajax captain in July 2006, Huntelaar was named as vice-captain. [nl cite web | title= Stam nieuwe aanvoerder Ajax, Perez vice-captain | publisher=Ajax Online | url=http://www.ajaxonline.org/3223.htm |date=2006-07-11| accessdate=2007-11-01 ] Huntelaar was the first player to score a goal at Arsenal F.C.'s new Emirates Stadium in a testimonial match for Dennis Bergkamp on July 22, 2006 - a match Ajax ended up losing 2–1 (although in the second half, which started off with Ajax leading 1–0, 'legends' like Johan Cruijff, Marco van Basten and Ian Wright played instead). [cite web | title= Bergkamp given rousing farewell | publisher=BBC Sport | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/teams/a/arsenal/5203954.stm |date=2006-07-22| accessdate=2007-08-23 ] Huntelaar started the 2006–07 European campaign well by scoring a brace away against Copenhagen in the first leg of the UEFA Champions League 3rd qualifying round in a 1-2 win. [nl cite web | title= Ajax verslaat FC Kopenhagen dankzij Huntelaar | publisher=Ajax Online | url=http://www.ajaxonline.org/3354.htm |date=2006-08-09| accessdate=2007-08-23 ] However, a shock 2–0 defeat home against Copenhagen meant that Ajax were demoted to the UEFA Cup, in which Huntelaar scored eight goals in seven matches. In the 2006–07 Dutch league, Huntelaar continued scoring, getting 21 goals in the league as Ajax once again finished second. In the KNVB Cup, Huntelaar scored four goals in six matches, including a goal in the cup final victory against AZ.nl cite web | title= Ajax wint beker na slijtageslag van 120 minuten | publisher=Ajax Online | url=http://www.ajaxonline.org/4996.htm |date=2007-05-06| accessdate=2007-08-23 ] Finishing second in the league meant that Ajax once again had to play in the European play-offs to secure Champions League football for the next season. Huntelaar scored two goals in the second leg of the semi-final against his old club Heerenveen as Ajax won 4–1 on aggregate. [nl cite web | title= Ajax boekt ruime overwinning op Heerenveen | publisher=Ajax Online | url=http://www.ajaxonline.org/5068.htm |date=2007-05-13| accessdate=2007-08-23 ] In the final, Louis van Gaal's AZ awaited Ajax. Huntelaar featured in both legs as Ajax won 4–2 on aggregate to secure a place in the third qualifying round of the Champions League. [nl cite web | title= Ajax wint play-offs na goede zege op AZ | publisher=Ajax Online | url=http://www.ajaxonline.org/5187.htm |date=2007-05-27| accessdate=2007-08-23 ]


The 2007–08 season started with mixed performances. Huntelaar featured in Ajax's third consecutive victory in the Johan Cruijff-schaal in a 1–0 win over PSV Eindhoven.cite web | title= Gabri clinches Super Cup for Ajax | publisher=UEFA.com | url=http://www.uefa.com/footballeurope/news/kind=2/newsid=569819.html |date=2007-08-11| accessdate=2007-08-23 ] Next followed the third round Champions League qualifier match against SK Slavia Praha. Huntelaar missed a penalty as Ajax lost 0–1 in the first leg in the Amsterdam Arena, and a repeat of the shock exit in the 2006 Champions League took place after Ajax also lost the second leg 2–1 in Prague. [cite web | title= Slavia make Ajax pay the penalty | publisher=UEFA.com | url=http://www.uefa.com/competitions/ucl/fixturesresults/round=15104/match=301260/report=rp.html |date=2007-08-15| accessdate=2007-08-23 ] Ajax were also eliminated from the UEFA Cup by NK Dinamo Zagreb on away goals. Huntelaar scored two goals in the return match but it was not enough to secure Ajax's place in the competition. [cite web | title= Ajax follow French pair out of Europe | publisher=UEFA.com | url=http://www.uefa.com/competitions/uefacup/news/kind=1/newsid=594523.html |date=2007-10-04| accessdate=2007-10-05 ] In the first Eredivisie match of the season Huntelaar scored four goals to help them past newly promoted De Graafschap in an 1–8 away victory. [cite web | title= Timely boost for four-goal Huntelaar | publisher=UEFA.com | url=http://www.uefa.com/footballeurope/news/kind=2/newsid=573067.html |date=2007-08-20| accessdate=2007-08-20 ] He continued his goal scoring form against FC Groningen and scored a bicycle kick against Heracles Almelo. [nl cite web | title= Matig Ajax niet langs Groningen | publisher=Ajax Online| url=http://www.ajaxonline.org/5802.htm |date=2007-09-02| accessdate=2007-09-16 ] [nl cite web | title= Omhaal Huntelaar redt pover Ajax | publisher=Sportweek| url=http://www.sportweek.nl/detail.asp?groupid=2&newsid=38640 |date=2007-09-15| accessdate=2007-09-16 ] Huntelaar was again on target in the following three games, with a free kick just outside the box against Louis van Gaal's AZ as Ajax beat their North Holland rivals 2–3, against VVV-Venlo, and against Sparta Rotterdam. [nl cite web | title= AZ onderuit tegen Ajax in eerste topper eredivisie | publisher=Sportweek| url=http://www.sportweek.nl/detail.asp?groupid=2&newsid=39216 |date=2007-09-23| accessdate=2007-09-23 ] [nl cite web | title= Ajax verslaat VVV met ruime cijfers | publisher=Ajax Online | url=http://www.ajaxonline.org/5963.htm |date=2007-09-30| accessdate=2007-10-05 ] [nl cite web | title= Ajax raakt koppositie kwijt na gelijkspel bij Sparta | publisher=Ajax Online | url=http://www.ajaxonline.org/6029.htm |date=2007-10-07| accessdate=2007-10-09 ] On October 28, 2007, Huntelaar scored the only goal against FC Utrecht to clinch an away victory. [nl cite web | title= Ajax op strijd langs FC Utrecht in boeiend gevecht | publisher=Ajax Online | url=http://www.ajaxonline.org/6221.htm |date=2007-10-28| accessdate=2007-11-01 ] With the retirement of Jaap Stam in October 2007, Huntelaar was temporarily made the Ajax captain, pending Edgar Davids' return from injury. [nl cite web | title= Huntelaar aanvoerder in bekerduel | publisher=AT5 | url=http://www.at5.nl/sportartikel.asp?newsid=30563 |date=2007-10-31| accessdate=2007-11-01 ] Huntelaar played his first Dutch Cup game of the season against his old side Heerenveen on October 31, 2007, scoring the third goal as Ajax beat the Frisians 3–1 to advance to the next round. [nl cite web | title= Ajax eenvoudig langs Heerenveen in bekertoernooi | publisher=Ajax Online | url=http://www.ajaxonline.org/6257.htm |date=2007-10-31| accessdate=2007-11-01 ] On November 4, 2007, the striker scored a goal and missed a penalty against Roda JC, bringing his total for the season to eleven goals in ten league appearances. By the end of the season, Huntelaar had scored 33 goals in 34 apps, making him the top scorer of the eredivisie, eleven in front of Twente's Blaise Kufo. [nl cite web | title= Huntelaar topscorer, Suarez derde | publisher=Ajax | url=http://www.ajax.nl/web/show/id=154417/contentid=66276 |date=2007-04-20 | accessdate=2008-06-06 ]


At the start of the 2008–09 season, new Ajax manager Marco van Basten named Huntelaar as the first team captain, becoming the permanent successor to previous club captain Jaap Stam. Huntelaar scored a brace against Borac Cacak in the UEFA Cup. [cite web | title= Huntelaar Is Ours – Van Basten | publisher=Goal.com | url=http://www.goal.com/en-us/Articolo.aspx?ContenutoId=777244 |date=2008-07-15 | accessdate=2008-07-15 ] . On September 1, 2008, the last day of the transfer period, Ajax rejected an offer of €40 million for the striker from a mystery club, believed to be Manchester City. This meant that he remained with Ajax for the start of the 07/08 season. On September 18, he scored 2 winning goals for Ajax in a UEFA Cup clash against Borac C. [cite web | title= Ajax Turned Down €40M Offer For Huntelaar | publisher=Goal.com | url=http://www.goal.com/en/Articolo.aspx?ContenutoId=845990 |date=2008-09-02 | accessdate=2008-09-03 ] On September 25 Huntelaar missed a penalty in the game against FC Utrecht in the Dutch Cup, however he made up for this by scoring his 100th Ajax goal after Luis Suárez opened the scoring.

Netherlands national team

Youth squads

Huntelaar participated in the 2001 FIFA World Youth Championship for the Netherlands under coach Louis van Gaal. The striker scored two goals in the tournament before the Dutch were eliminated in the quarter finals by Egypt.

Huntelaar was part of the preliminary Dutch squad prior to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, but was not chosen in the squad for the tournament itself. Coach Marco van Basten explained that he felt Huntelaar would benefit from more experience and from playing at the UEFA Under 21 football championships in Portugal with Foppe de Haan's Netherlands U21 squad, going as far as to say that it was up to the player to "show us there that by not selecting Huntelaar we did not do the right thing". [nl cite web | title= Huntelaar niet mee naar Duitsland | publisher=nu.nl | url=http://www.nu.nl/news/731913/41/Huntelaar_niet_mee_naar_Duitsland.html |date=2006-05-14| accessdate=2007-09-16 ]

While the senior Dutch squad went on to score just three goals in four games at the World Cup in Germany, the youth side did a lot better in the U21 championship. Huntelaar was the top-scorer of the Under 21 tournament with four goals as the young Dutch were victorious in the tournament. He scored a powerful strike in the semi-final against France and a brace in the final against Ukraine. [cite web | title= uefa.com's Team of the Tournament | publisher=UEFA.com | url=http://www.uefa.com/competitions/Under21/news/Kind=1/newsId=427313.html |date=2006-06-06| accessdate=2007-09-16 ] Huntelaar was named as one of the strikers in the UEFA Team of the Tournament. [cite web | title= Huntelaar thrives in Dutch triumph | publisher=UEFA.com | url=http://www.uefa.com/competitions/under21/history/season=2006/intro.html |date=2006-06-01| accessdate=2007-11-15 ] After the tournament, Huntelaar retired from the under-21 squad, where he remains the all-time highest goal-scorer with 18 goals in 22 matches.

enior squad

Huntelaar's status as a rising star was confirmed when Marco van Basten decided to select the striker as his starting striker in the Dutch National squad's friendly against the Republic of Ireland on August 16, 2006. Huntelaar paid immediate dividends in his debut for the senior squad by scoring two goals, and making two assists, in Holland's 4–0 victory. [cite web | title= Republic of Ireland 0-4 Holland | publisher=BBC Sport | url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport2/hi/football/internationals/4795339.stm |date=2006-08-16| accessdate=2007-09-16 ] Huntelaar was the first player to score on his debut for the Dutch national squad since Dick Nanninga did so in 1978.

After being left out of the squad for a number of games, he was recalled to the squad in October 2007 for the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifying games against Romania and Slovenia. [cite web | title= Huntelaar and Robben recalled | publisher=Sky Sports | url=http://www.skysports.com/story/0,19528,11906_2782526,00.html |date=2007-10-05| accessdate=2007-10-06 ] Due to the suspension of Ruud van Nistelrooy, Huntelaar was in the starting line-up against Slovenia, scoring his first competitive international goal in a 2–0 win. [cite web | title= Netherlands near finals goal with win | publisher=UEFA.com | url=http://www.uefa.com/competitions/euro/fixturesresults/round=2241/match=83696/report=rp.html |date=2007-10-17| accessdate=2007-10-18 ] He scored his fifth and sixth goal for the national team on March 26, 2008 in a friendly match against Austria. [cite web | title= Huntelaar caps superb Dutch fightback | publisher=CNN | url=http://edition.cnn.com/2008/SPORT/football/03/26/dutch.austria/ |date=2008-03-26| accessdate=2008-03-26 ] He scored his seventh goal in twelve national caps on May 24, 2008 against Ukraine. [cite web | title= Experimental Dutch ease past Ukraine | publisher=UEFA.com | url=http://www.euro2008.uefa.com/news/kind=1/newsid=700632.html |date=2008-05-24| accessdate=2008-06-05 ] Huntelaar was included in Netherlands' Euro 2008 squad, scoring his only goal in the tournament with the opening goal of their final Group C game against Romania putting them on the way to a 2–0 win. [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/euro_2008/7363393.stm |title=France 0-2 Italy & Netherlands 2-0 Romania |date=2008-06-17 |accessdate=2008-06-18 |publisher=BBC Sport |first=Saj |last=Chowdhury]

After Euro 2008, Ruud van Nistelrooy retired from international football, and Huntelaar stated that while he was disappointed to see his fellow striker leave, he was now hopeful to be the new first-choice striker for the Dutch squad. [nl cite web | title= Klaas-Jan Huntelaar: ‘Vertrek Van Nistelrooy opent deuren’ | publisher=Sportweek | url=http://www.sportweek.nl/voetbal/66936/Klaas-Jan_Huntelaar_Vertrek_Van_Nistelrooy_opent_deuren |date=2007-08-05 | accessdate=2007-08-06 ] After the appointment of new Holland manager Bert van Marwijk, Huntelaar was inluded in the preliminary squad for the friendly match against Russia. [nl cite web | title= Van Bommel in voorlopige selectie oefenduel Oranje tegen Rusland | publisher=Sportweek | url=http://www.sportweek.nl/voetbal/67039/Van_Bommel_in_voorlopige_selectie_oefenduel_Oranje_tegen_Rusland |date=2007-08-06 | accessdate=2007-08-06 ]

Career statistics



Ig match
n =1
d1=August 16, 2006
st=Lansdowne Road| ci=Dublin| co=Ireland
comp=Friendly match
Ig match
n =2
d1=August 16, 2006
st=Lansdowne Road| ci=Dublin| co=Ireland
comp=Friendly match
Ig match
n =3
d1=October 17, 2007
st=Philips Stadion| ci=Eindhoven| co=Netherlands
comp=Euro 2008 Qualification
Ig match
n =4
d1=February 6, 2008
st=Poljud Stadium| ci=Split| co=Croatia
comp=Friendly match
Ig match
n =5
d1=March 26, 2008
st=Ernst Happel Stadion| ci=Vienna| co=Austria
comp=Friendly match
Ig match
n =6
d1=March 26, 2008
st=Ernst Happel Stadion| ci=Vienna| co=Austria
comp=Friendly match
Ig match
n =7
d1=May 24, 2008
st=De Kuip| ci=Rotterdam| co=Netherlands
comp=Friendly match
Ig match
n =8
d1=June 17, 2008
st=Stade de Suisse| ci=Bern| co=Switzerland
comp=UEFA Euro 2008
Ig match
n =9
d1=September 6, 2008
st=Philips Stadion| ci=Eindhoven| co=Netherlands
comp=Friendly match
Ig match
n =10
d1=October 11, 2008
st=De Kuip| ci=Rotterdam| co=Netherlands
comp=FIFA World Cup 2010 qualifying



* Dutch KNVB Cup: 2005–06, 2006–07: With AFC Ajax
* Dutch Johan Cruijff-schaal: 2006, 2007 : With AFC Ajax

National Team

* UEFA U-21 Championship: 2006


* Dutch Eerste Divisie Top Scorer: 2003–04
* Dutch Eerste Divisie Player of the Year: 2003–04

* Dutch Eredivisie Top Scorer: 2005–06, 2007–08
* Dutch Eredivisie Talent of the Year: 2005–06

* UEFA U-21 Championship Top Scorer: 2006
* All-time leading Dutch Under-21 Top Scorer

* World's Top Division Goal Scorer: 2005–06 [nl cite web | title= Klaas-Jan Huntelaar beste spits in 2006 | publisher=Sport1 | url=http://www1.sport1.nl/Voetbal/Nieuws/130081/Klaas-Jan-Huntelaar-beste-spits-in-2006.html | date=2006-12-28| accessdate=2007-09-24 ]


External links

* [http://www.klaasjanhuntelaar.com Official website]
* [http://www.uefa.com/magazine/news/Kind=512/newsId=383257.html UEFA profile]
* [http://www.goal.com/en/Giocatore.aspx?IdPersona=8421&SEOPlayerName=Klaas-Jan+Huntelaar Goal.com profile]

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