Giovanni van Bronckhorst Profile
|Name||Giovanni van Bronckhorst|
|Born||Feb 05, 1975|
After a trophy-laden career as a player, Giovanni van Bronckhorst has continued to pick up silverware as a manager.
Van Bronckhorst is a former Dutch international midfielder whose clubs included Feyenoord, Arsenal and Barcelona. His last job in management came at Scottish Premiership team Rangers, where he spent three seasons as a player.
Van Bronckhorst tasted success at every club he played for, picking up the KNVB Cup, Premier League, FA Cup, all three major Scottish trophies as well as La Liga and the Champions League crown.
He was also part of the Dutch side that finished runners-up in the 2010 World Cup.
Van Bronckhorst is still finding his feet as a manager but has already guided Feyenoord to cup and a stunning league success in his homeland, and has lifted the Scottish Cup at Rangers.
However, he was sacked by Rangers in November after a poor start to the 2022/23 season in which the club were humiliated in the Champions League group stages and fell nine points adrift of city rivals Celtic at the top of the cinch Premiership.
Van Bronckhorst was born in Rotterdam to parents of Indonesian descent and started early in football by joining a local youth team called Linker Maas Oever at just six years old.
It didn't take long for people to start noticing him either as he was offered a chance to join the youth ranks of Feyenoord the next year.
Within a few years at Feyenoord, he had made enough of an impact to be offered a professional deal in 1990 when he was 15 and went on to win the Dutch Youth League with Feyenoord the next season.
Despite all the pedigree, he struggled to break into the first team and was loaned out to RKC Waalwijk in 1993. He returned to Feyenoord but was only a bit-part player in the next campaign and it wasn't until the 1995/96 season that he really managed to break through.
By the time he left the club for Rangers for £5m in 1998, he had made 103 appearances for Feyenoord and scored 22 league goals playing alongside the likes of Regi Blinker and Henrik Larsson. He also picked up the KNVB Cup in 1995.
Trophies and success at three major clubs
Van Bronckhorst made his debut for Rangers in the UEFA Cup against Shelbourne and even got on the scoresheet to help his team overturn a three-goal deficit and claim a dramatic 5-3 win.
During his playing stint in Glasgow, Gio scored 22 goals in 177 appearance and picked up the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Cup twice, and the Scottish League Cup.
In 2001, Van Bronckhorst had made enough of a name for himself to secure a blockbuster move to Premier League club Arsenal for a fee of around £8million.
He suffered a knee ligament injury that caused him to be sidelined very early on his Gunners career, but recovered and went on to help Arsenal win the Premier League in 2001/02 and the 2002 and 2003 FA Cups.
After three years of fighting for his spot, he was offered a one-year loan contract at Barcelona where he would be managed by friend and old teammate Frank Rijkaard. Once his loan contract ran out, Van Bronckhorst was signed by Barcelona on a permanent basis for Â£2million, penning a three-year deal in May 2004.
In the 2004/05 season, Gio put on some of his best performances as a professional and was instrumental in helping Barca to La Liga glory in 2004/05 and 2005/06 and helping them win the UEFA Champions League in the same year.
In the final year of his contract, Van Bronckhorst decided to return to his childhood club Feyenoord on a free transfer, which was permitted because of a special clause in his deal, where he finished off his club career and retired in 2010.
Van Bronckhorst represented the Netherlands 106 times after making his debut in an international friendly against Brazil in 1996.
He only scored six goals for his country but his strike against Uruguay in the semi-final of the 2010 World Cup is still mentioned alongside some of the best goals in World Cup history.
While he initially struggled to establish himself in the playing squad for the Netherlands, his move to Arsenal and the Premier League earned him a more regular place in the team and he would play instrumental roles for the country at the Euros in 2004 and 2008 as well as the 2006 and 2010 FIFA World Cups.
Van Bronckhorst as a manager
Van Bronckhorst wasted no time getting involved behind the scenes after retiring in 2010, joining the backroom staff at his beloved Feyenoord as Ronald Koeman's assistant in 2011.
He remained in the position, under different managers, for several seasons before being handed the reins in March 2015, replacing Fred Rutten as manager of the club.
He led Feyenoord to KNVB Cup glory in his first full season in charge in the 2015/16 campaign before steering the club to its first Eredivisie title in 18 years the following season. Feyenoord claimed the KNVB Cup again in 2018.
Gio's success attracted the interest of Chinese Super League outfit Guangzhou R&F and he left Feyenoord to join them in January 2020 but lasted less than 12 months before quitting in December to return home to be with his family.
In November 2021, Van Bronckhorst replaced Steven Gerrard as Rangers manager.
He led Rangers to the 2022 Scottish Cup, their first triumph in that tournament in 13 years and also reached the 2022 Europa League final but lost out to Eintracht Frankfurt on penalties.
Van Bronckhorst was sacked by Rangers on November 21 2022 following a run of form this season that the club described as "not meeting expectations."
He paid the price for a poor start to the current season in which Rangers endured a humiliating Champions League group stage and fell nine points adrift of city rivals Celtic at the top of the cinch Premiership.
Van Bronckhorst is married to his wife Marieke with whom he has two sons.
He and his wife set up the SV GIO after-school program where groups of children in primary school can receive support for education and sports. The program takes place in various locations including Feyenoord's home ground, De Kuip, and on the campus of the University Rotterdam.
One of Van Bronckhorst's former teammates Claudio Reyna named his son Giovanni, after the Dutch midfielder. Giovanni Reyna is a fully capped international with the USA.
Van Bronckhorst's net worth was estimated to be in the region of $5 million in 2021.