European Player of the Year. If only Ruud Gullit played the whole year… but he did not and and thus only 2 Dutchmen were in the top 3 – instead of 3 in 1988. If 1988 voting recognized the great success of Holland, this year it was recognition of Milan. But the players were the same… Frank Rijkard was 3rd with 43 points. Franco Baresi – 2nd with 80 points. Marco van Basten – number one with 129 points. No wonder – Milan won every international tournament they played in 1989 and these were its key stars.
To a large degree the prime decisive moment was the European Champions Cup final in which van Basten shined and scored 2 goals – here is his second. Milan was winning thanks to his fine play and great scoring ability. And he was a delight for the fans too – elegant, skillful, always motivated, not a dirty player, a real jewel.
So, for a second consecutive year Marco van Basten was voted the top player of Europe. It was just and fair, he was a great star and the only bitter taste was not about him, but about the fact that the three wonderful Dutchmen played together at the same time was no matter what two of them had to be ranked lower. Ruud Gullit already was a player of the year, but poor Frank Rijkard seemingly had no chance… Apart from that – Marco van Basten ruled. He not only played for the top teams – Holland and Milan – but always shined. No doubt about it.