Wim Suurbier , champion of three European Cups with Ajax (1971-1973) and twice finalist with Holland in the World Cup (1974, 1978), died on Sunday at the age of 75 in Amsterdam, after failing to overcome complications derived from a stroke suffered on April 25. The fantastic offensive capabilities of the Dutch international, essential in Rinus Michels' plans , earned him to be considered one of the first modern wingers.
From the right flank, Suurbier surprised with the speed of his incursions and the precision of his centers, making him one of the first European defenders to follow the path previously marked by Nilma Santos or Carlos Alberto , great figures of Brazil in both previous decades. Between 1964 and 1977 he played 509 matches with Ajax, with whom he also won an Intercontinental Cup (1973) and two European Super Cups (1973 and 1974).
One of his most outstanding performances with the ajacied jersey came in the 1972 European Cup final, played in Rotterdam against Inter Milan (2-0). Their continued additions, aiding Sjaak Swart , were capped with an assist to Cruyff.
After 14 seasons at the club of his heart, he defended the colors of Schalke 04 and Metz. He also tried his fortune in Hong Kong and the United States, where he became one of the pioneers of soccer , in the ranks of the Los Angeles Aztecs and the Golden Bay Earthquakes. In 1987, at age 42, he left professional football.
Suurbier's expansive character and passion for nightlife earned him numerous problems off the pitch. The Dutch press used to remember her friendship with George Best , the great bon vivant of British football, with whom he managed a famous club in Hermosa Beach (California).
During his 60 matches with the Oranje team , where he shared costumes with figures such as Johan Cruyff , Wim van Hanegem , Johnny Rep , Johan Neeskens or Robert Rensenbrink , Suurbier was left with only the bitter aftertaste of the lost final against Germany in Munich (2-1) and Argentina in Buenos Aires (3-1 after extra time).
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