He retired and the whole world was in tears. One of the best strikers in history never fulfilled his potential thanks to some nagging injuries. Even worse, he wanted nothing to do with football whatsoever. He played golf and we only saw him on the pitch once more, together with Cruijff in an Ajax shirt, during some celebratory match. While his former team mates Gullit and Rijkaard became well known and respected coaches Van Basten did nothing.
Then one day he decided he wanted to return, he started a trainers course and shows his face in stadiums again. And then there was this book. Not completely his book, he didn’t even write it himself, more a long interview, but it was a sign of life. Basically his ideas on football nowadays. “Everything must change” is the title of the story in which he suggests new rules for the game that brought him glory, fame and a life in luxury, which is the same game he couldn’t play for over a decade without pain, that nearly crippled him and ruined his life.
Van Basten wants the game to be more attractive. In short:
* Technical aid/camera’s should be possible on the highest level (they do exist in NBA,
NFL and NHL)
* Change some rules. The clock should only measure real time. Yellow cards should mean
time bans, not suspensions, hands is hands, change or even abolish the offside rule.
* Universal calendar, which gives more time for big tournaments
* Limit the number of players under contract
He explains how he gets to these recommendations and states that they are to open a discussion, not because he claims to have all wisdom.
Next to that several other stories, including a funny account of Simon Kuper at the world cup in Japan and a historical story on English footy by David Winner. The link between masturbation and the first organised football games may seem far fetched, but through Winner’s story a very credible one. Read Winner if you’re interested.