One of the greatest strikers that the Premier League has ever seen, Manchester United’s Ruud van Nistelrooy, used to get angry if he found out one of his striking rivals had bettered his goal record on a particular weekend.
According to the Daily Mirror, former United defender, Rio Ferdinand, spoke about how the Dutchman would be in a bad mood if Thierry Henry had outscored him.
“Ruud van Nistelrooy used to come in the changing room after a game, trust me, we’re trying to win the league, we’ve beat someone 3-1 or 4-1, he’s scored one goal, he’ll come in and look up to the TV and go ‘ohh’,” Ferdinand said, as quoted by the Daily Mirror.
“He sits down, (we ask) ‘Ruud, are you alright, what’s wrong?’ And he’ll reply, ‘nothing, nothing.’ Then someone will go, ‘Thierry has scored two today, Ruud has only scored one, so he’s a goal behind now.’ And he’s sitting there devastated, and you can see it.”
It was surely precisely that type of intensity and winning mentality which helped take Van Nistelrooy right to the very top of his game.
Scoring 150 goals in his 219 games for the Old Trafford outfit, per Transfermarkt, isn’t an output to be sniffed at, and made him one of the most feared marksmen of his era.
He just happened to be playing at the same time as the Frenchman, who went on to become Arsenal’s all-time leading goalscorer as well as the sixth highest in Premier League history.