Manchester United visited Craven Cottage last weekend and there was one man who enjoyed his games against Fulham.
There are many things that connect Ruud van Nistelrooy with Fulham during his spell in England. The Dutchman made his Premier League debut against the Cottagers on August 12, 2001.
It was an excellent game of football, which finished 3-2 in favour of Manchester United. Ruud Van Nistelrooy scored two goals and was the Man of the Match on his very first game on Old Trafford. What a way to introduce yourself in front of the Stretford End!
Fulham was among van Nistelrooy’s favourite opponents in the Premier League. The Dutchman scored 10 goals on 10 games against the Cottagers. He has scored more only against Newcastle – 11.
Ruud scored arguably the best goal in his career against Fulham on Old Trafford in March 2003. He took the ball in midfield and dribbled past 5 defenders, before finishing it low right past Maik Taylor.
Van Nistelrooy scored a hat-trick that day. He helped United win the game 3-0, and got them to the first place on the table. United went on to win the Premier League, which was the only one Ruud has won during his time in England.
Van Nistelrooy has also won the FA and the League cup with the Red Devils, in 2004 and 2006 respectively.
On individual record, Ruud has won the Premier League Golden Boot in the 2002/03 season, scoring 25 goal. He has been voted as Player of the Season as well.
Ruud van Nistelrooy has spent 5 years on Old Trafford from 2001 to 2006. He joined Manchester United in a €19 million transfer deal from PSV Eindhoven.
Van Nistelrooy played 150 Premier League games and scored 95 goals. He made 219 appearances for United overall, netting 150 times. With 38 goals, he is also the club’s second all-time European goalscorer, behind Wayne Rooney.
The Dutchman has been sold to Real Madrid in 2006 for a fee of €14 million after a training fight with Cristiano Ronaldo. Ruud vas Nistelrooy remains one of all-time Manchester United legends.