Giovanni van Bronckhorst
Giovanni van Bronckhorst

Gio Van Bronckhorst

Giovanni van Bronckhorst was no stranger to the rough-and-tumble realities of British football on his arrival at Highbury in the summer of 2001.

The popular Dutch international had made a name for himself during three years at Rangers, winning the Scottish Premier League twice in succession under compatriot Dick Advocaat.

Profile

Name Gio Van Bronckhorst
Arsenal Career 2001 - 2003
Position:
Appearances 64 (39 starts, 25 as a sub)
Goals 2

That was enough to persuade Arsene Wenger to make his move.

With Emmanuel Petit having departed for pastures new with Barcelona, Van Bronckhorst arrived as a ready-made replacement to partner Patrick Vieira in the heart of midfield.

But a cruciate knee ligament injury sidelined the utility man before his career in north London really took off.

Upon his return, Edu and the newly-signed Gilberto had staked claims of their own for a first-team place and Van Brockhorst found opportunities restricted.

He made 64 appearances in two years at Highbury before Frank Rijkaard secured his services at Barcelona after Van Bronckhorst impressed during an initial loan period.

Van Bronckhorst left Arsenal with two FA Cup winners' medals, together with a 2001/02 Premier League winners’ medal. He scored two goals, earning the affections of all Arsenal fans with his strike in the team's 3-2 victory over Chelsea in 2003.

The Dutchman became a regular at international level, featuring in two European Championships and two World Cups. Playing at left back he captained the Netherlands to the 2010 World Cup final, firing an incredible opening goal in the semi-final victory over Uruguay along the way.

Van Bronckhorst retired in 2010, taking up a coaching role with Holland's Under-21s before returning to former club Feyenoord as assistant manager.