Wim Kieft

Willem Cornelis Nicolaas "Wim" Kieft (born 12 November 1962) is a Dutch former professional footballer who played as a centre forward. Kieft went into punditry in 2001, occasionally appearing on football talk show Voetbal Inside

Wim Kieft
Wim Kieft (2017).jpg
Kieft in 2017
Personal information
Full name Willem Cornelis Nicolaas Kieft
Date of birth (1962-11-12) 12 November 1962 (age 58)
Place of birth Amsterdam, Netherlands
Height 1.90 m (6 ft 3 in)
Position(s) Centre forward
Youth career
AVV Madjoe[1]
1975–1979 Ajax
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1979–1983 Ajax 96 (69)
1983–1986 Pisa 91 (25)
1986–1987 Torino 19 (8)
1987–1990 PSV 82 (55)
1990–1991 Bordeaux 26 (3)
1991–1994 PSV 88 (34)
Total 402 (194)
National team
1981–1993 Netherlands 43 (11)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

A prolific goal-scorer whose main asset was his heading ability, he played two big clubs, Ajax and PSV. He also played in Italy and France.

Kieft played for the Dutch national team, and was a member of the squad that won Euro 1988. He also represented his nation at the 1990 World Cup.

Club careerEdit

Kieft in 1981

Born in Amsterdam, Kieft started his professional career with local AFC Ajax, making his first-team debuts on 4 May 1980 at not yet 18. Amongst his youth teammates were Frank Rijkaard, John van 't Schip, Marco van Basten and Gerald Vanenburg, as in his first two full seasons he scored at an astonishing rate, especially in 1981–82 when he netted 32 goals in as many games, being crucial as the team lifted the Eredivisie title and receiving the European Golden Boot award.[2]

At only 20, Kieft was sold to Italy's Pisa Calcio, scoring only three times in a relegation-ending campaign. He did help the Tuscany side immediately promote to Serie A, but underperformed overall in the top flight, with that club and his following, Torino FC.

In the summer of 1987, Kieft returned to his country and signed for PSV Eindhoven. His impact was immediate as his new team won the treble, including the season's European Cup where he scored in the penalty shootout defeat of S.L. Benfica (0–0 after 120 minutes).[3] En route to these accolades he contributed with more than 30 goals overall, 29 alone in the league, a competition-best; he was also one of five European players to ever achieve the feat of winning four competitions – three with their club and one with the national team – in the same year, the others being teammates Berry van Aerle, Hans van Breukelen, Ronald Koeman and Vanenburg.

Kieft had his second and last abroad experience in 1990, joining FC Girondins de Bordeaux from France and again underachieving, returning to PSV and playing three more seasons until his retirement, averaging more than 11 goals in his second spell with the latter. In total, he scored 158 times in only 264 matches in the Netherlands' top division.

Kieft rejoined PSV in 2009, being named assistant coach of the club's youth sides.

International careerEdit

Kieft earned his first cap for the Netherlands in 1981. He would represent the national team in three major international tournaments, UEFA Euro 1988, the 1990 FIFA World Cup and Euro 1992.[4]

In the first competition, Kieft played three times for the eventual champions, always as a second-half substitute: on 18 June 1988, after having replaced Erwin Koeman, he scored in the 82nd minute of the 1–0 group stage win against the Republic of Ireland, through a header, helping the Dutch overtake their opponents in the match and finish second in Group 2 to secure a place in the semi-finals.[5]

Kieft played four times in the second tournament, held in Italy, starting against a familiar opponent, Ireland, and finding the net in the 1–1 draw against Egypt as the Oranje exited in the round-of-16.[6]

Post-retirement career and personal lifeEdit

After retiring, Kieft worked as a football pundit for television channels Sport1 and RTL, making a name for himself as a commentator and pundit with popular football talkshow Voetbal Inside (VI). In 2016, Kieft signed an exclusive agreement with Ziggo Sport. Because of this, he initially could not feature at the VI table.[7] At the end of 2018, Kieft returned twice a week as a table guest at VI. In 2019, Kieft signed a three-year contract with Talpa, which meant that he returned to their new program, Veronica Inside, with the same concept as VI.[8]

His son, Robbin (born 1987), was also a footballer. After attending Ajax and FC Groningen's youth academies, he played exclusively in the lower leagues of the country.

In his biography, published in 2014, Kieft admitted a long-lasting addiction to alcohol and cocaine, which began after the end of his career and ended after a withdrawal treatment.[9]



Kieft in action for Ajax in 1980





  1. ^ Haen, Jo (14 September 2017). "092 – Wim Kieft begon bij Madjoe" (in Dutch). Stichting Vrienden van Watergraafsmeer. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  2. ^ "Award winners". European Sports Media. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  3. ^ James M. Ross (17 January 2008). "Champions' Cup 1987–88". RSSSF. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  4. ^ Wim Kieft – International Appearances; at RSSSF
  5. ^ "Tournament History: Euro 1988 (West Germany)". Goal. 4 June 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2011.
  6. ^ Wim KieftFIFA competition record (archived)
  7. ^ "Wim Kieft niet meer bij Voetbal Inside" (in Dutch). Televizier. 27 April 2016. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  8. ^ "Wim Kieft verruilt Ziggo Sport voor Talpa" (in Dutch). NU.nl. 16 January 2019. Retrieved 12 September 2020.
  9. ^ "Wim Kieft berichtet von Kokain-Sucht" [Wim Kieft speaks of cocaine addiction]. Der Tagesspiegel (in German). 22 May 2014. Retrieved 14 July 2014.

External linksEdit