Marco van Basten represents the greatness of the game of football and also one of the major problems inherent in the sport. He was one of the greatest strikers in the game, a player blessed with outstanding technical skills who had the innate ability to score goals from all over the pitch. Unfortunately, the career of this prolific striker from the Netherlands who was one of the best footballer in the world from 1988 to 1992 was shortened by an ankle injury and in this respect these injuries are indicative of what must be changed in the great game of football.
Marco van Basten is currently advocating a system in which a footballer is removed from a match after accumulating a specific number of fouls irrespective of whether they are given a card or not. This would serve as a deterrent to players who attempt to slow down a more skilled opponent by committing fouls that are not worthy of a yellow or red card but get the attention of one of the referees.
As a striker on an elite football team a player accepts that they will be the target of aggressive play from the opposition. However, over the years of his career the soccer regulating boards have not been progressive in how they punish illegal tackles. From the time that Marco van Basten was representing the Netherlands national team and his club teams which included Ajax and AC Milan he was the victim of numerous fouls that were never resulted in yellow or red cards. The result was that his ankle became a target and that resulted in numerous surgeries and eventually an end to his sterling career.
For the sport of professional football to continue to be great there needs to be advancement made in how players are punished for transgressions. Imagine if Cristiano Ronaldo, a goal scorer whose scoring totals are reminiscent of Marco van Basten, eventually must retire because of injuries that occurred from the accumulation of fouls. It would be a huge loss to the game of football because he is a great player to watch as was Marco van Basten who many considered to be an artist on the pitch. Professional football needs to consider Marco van Basten’s recommendation to remove players after they have a certain number of fouls in a match. It will lessen the injuries to players and make the game more entertaining for the fans.