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Ryan Miguel Guno Babel (born 19 December 1986) is a Dutchmarker professional footballer who currently plays for Liverpool. He is right footed and plays as a winger, but can also play as a striker. Babel began his career at AFC Ajax in 1998, working his way up through the youth team and into the senior squad. He played three seasons for the first team before he was transferred to Liverpool in mid-2007. He has been part of the Netherlands national football team since 2005 and has represented his country at all youth team levels.

Early career

Ryan Babel, born 19 December 1986, grew up in Bijlmermeermarker, Amsterdammarker and was interested in football from a young age. Inspired by the local footballing talent, including Ruud Gullit and Frank Rijkaard, Babel played for nearby youth-teams S.V Diemen, then Fortius. In 1997, he attended a youth selection day with AFC Ajax. He made it through the first selection round, but failed to progress any further. However, the next year Ajax accepted him and he played the 1998–99 season for their D1 team. After having graduated through the C1, B1 and A1 teams, Babel signed his first professional contract in January 2004.

Club career


Babel at a post-game press event for Ajax
Playing as a forward, on 1 February 2004, just one and a half months after his 17th birthday, Ajax coach Ronald Koeman gave Babel his first team debut in Ajax's 4–0 home win over ADO Den Haag in the Eredivisie. Ajax went on to win the Dutch league title, but Babel didn't feature again that season. Nine months later, on 20 November 2004 Babel scored his first senior goal against De Graafschap in a 5–0 victory.

In July 2005, Babel signed a new contract with Ajax. He started the new season by scoring the winning goal in Ajax's 2–1 defeat of PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch Super Cup. Babel scored in both legs of the Champions League third qualifying round against Brøndby as Ajax made it to the group stage. 2005–06 was a tougher season for Babel in general though as he managed only two league goals. He did however continue to feature for the national team, and scored his second goal against Italy in November. At the end of the season, Babel came on as a second-half substitute in Ajax's 2–1 victory over PSV in the Dutch Cup final.

Babel marked the start of 2006–07 with another Dutch Super Cup winners medal, as Ajax defeated PSV 3–1. Babel was linked with Arsenal and Newcastle United during the January transfer window of the 2006-07 season but no move materialised. Amidst the transfer speculation, Babel agreed to a new three-year deal with Ajax on 2 February 2007. In May, Babel got another Dutch Cup winners medal as Ajax successfully defended the title. The match against AZ went to a penalty shoot-out, but Babel was substituted off after 120 minutes.


Ryan Babel
On 10 July 2007 it was reported that Liverpool F.C. had made a £14 million offer to the Amsterdam club. On 12 July it was reported that Liverpool and Ajax had agreed a fee in the region of £11.5 million, and later Liverpool confirmed that Babel would sign a five year contract on 13 July. He was unveiled on 13 July with Yossi Benayoun. Babel was handed the number 19 shirt. He made his debut on 17 July against Werder Bremen in a friendly. He was due to play in the first round of the Barclays Asia Trophy 2007 but for a delay in the granting of international clearance. This was sorted out in time for the final against Portsmouth.

He made his Premier League debut in the 2007–08 Premier League curtain raiser against Aston Villa away after coming on off the bench. A week later and he made his Anfieldmarker debut, coming off the bench against Chelsea. On 1 September Babel scored his first goal for Liverpool against Derby County. Babel scored his first Champions League goal for Liverpool on 6 November against Beşiktaş J.K. after coming on as a substitute. He netted twice in the game and almost completed a hat-trick, from a header from a Harry Kewell cross, but was denied by the crossbar. Babel scored the fourth and last goal in Liverpool's 2007–08 UEFA Champions League group stage match against Olympique de Marseille, which they needed to win. He came off the bench in the second leg of the quarter final against Arsenal in the Champions League to win an penalty and score a goal, with Liverpool winning the game 4–2 (5–3 on aggregate). He also came on as a substitute against Chelsea in the semi-final and despite scoring a goal, Liverpool lost 3–2 in extra time.

Liverpool and Celtic legend Kenny Dalglish has said that Babel has the ability to terrorise defenders in the Premier League with his pace and trickery with the ball. On 13 September 2008, Babel came off the bench to score the winner for Liverpool in a 2–1 victory over Manchester United, his first goal of the 2008–09 season Babel scored his second goal of the season in Liverpool's 5–1 victory over Newcastle United on 28 December 2008.

On the 20 September 2009 against West Ham, Babel came off the bench for Dirk Kuyt. At this stage the score was 2-2. Babel picked up the ball and did well to beat the full-back and sent in a delightful cross for Fernando Torres to head home the winner. Babel, who has been criticized in the past for his work rate and attitude, earned praise for his efforts in the West Ham game. Many Liverpool fans hope this signals the return of the form he showed in his first season that saw him quickly become a fan favourite.

On 27 September, 2009, Babel scored two goals against Hull City coming off the bench for Fernando Torres to round up a match which ended 6-1 for Liverpool. On 4 November, 2009, Babel scored the opening goal against Lyon in a Champions League game, a strike from 25 yards in a 1-1 draw. Former Liverpool player Alan Hansen called upon Babel to play like he did against Lyon, as he still possesses the ability to be a 'top player'.

International career

Babel playing for the Netherlands
Babel took part in the 2005 FIFA U-20 World Cup. Babel scored two goals in four games as the Netherlands reached the quarter-finals. There they were defeated by Nigeria, 10–9 in a penalty shoot-out (Babel scored his penalty).

Later that season, Babel made his international debut on 26 March 2005, away against Romania. He entered the game as a first-half substitute for Arjen Robben and went on to score the second goal in a 2–0 victory. The goal made Babel the youngest goalscorer in 68 years for the Netherlands and the fourth-youngest of all time. Babel had been a first team regular with Ajax in 2004–05 and finished with seven league goals in 22 appearances.

In 2006, Marco van Basten included Babel in the Dutch squad for 2006 FIFA World Cup. Due to a knee injury however, Babel only featured once, as a second-half substitute for Ruud van Nistelrooy in the group match against Argentina. Van Basten has been quoted as saying Babel "has all the potential to become the next Thierry Henry".

In June 2007, Babel was part of the Netherlands under-21 team competing in the UEFA Under-21 Championship, being held in the Netherlands. In the group stage, Babel scored a penalty against Portugal, helping the Dutch to secure a semi-final spot and thus qualifying for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. His second tournament goal came during his man of the match performance in the final as the Netherlands defeated Serbia 4–1 to retain their title.

In May 2008, Babel was selected for the Dutch squad which will compete in the UEFA Euro 2008 tournament. On 31 May, it was announced that Babel had been withdrawn from the squad after tearing ankle ligaments in training. Van Basten added then-Chelsea defender Khalid Boulahrouz to his squad in place of Babel.

On August 7th 2009, Babel was called up to compete for the Dutch squad in a friendly match against England on August 12th.

Career statistics

All-Time Club Performance
Club Season Eredivisie KNVB Cup Super Cup Europe Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals

2003–04 1 0 0 0 - - 0 0 1 0
2004–05 20 7 2 0 - - 4 1 26 8
2005–06 25 2 1 0 1 1 9 2 36 5
2006–07 27 5 3 0 1 0 7 2 38 7
Club Total 73 14 6 0 2 1 20 5 101 20
Premier League FA Cup League Cup Europe Total
Liverpool(Premier League) 2007–08 30 4 4 1 2 0 13 5 49 10
2008–09 25 3 2 0 2 0 9 1 38 4
2009–10 8 2 0 0 2 0 3 1 13 3
Club Total 63 9 6 1 6 0 25 7 100 17
Career totals 136 23 12 1 8 1 45 11 201 37
Last updated 10 November 2009

International goals
# Date Opponent Score Result Competition
1 26 March 2005 2-0 Won WC 2006 Qual.
2 12 November 2005 1-3 Loss Friendly
3 1 June 2006 2-1 Won Friendly
4 7 February 2007 4-1 Won Friendly
5 24 May 2008 3-0 Won Friendly
Last updated 24 May 2008

Career honours



    • 2007–2008 Liverpool FC Young Player of the Season

Musical career

Ryan Babel also raps under the name Rio. He cooperated with Dutch rappers such as Lange Frans, Baas B, Darryl, Ali B and U-Niq. He has also recorded a rap song with the Dutch Real Madrid star Royston Drenthe.Ryan Babel is going to be on Sway DaSafo's new album as a featured artist.

He also was a judge on Juice FM's Next Big Urban Star competition - organised by Liverpool radio station 107.6 Juice FM in September/October 2009. Ryan picked 17 year old Chelcee Grimes from Liverpool as the winner. She will now win a six month mentorship with Ryan Babel including studio time and career development from Ryan.


  1. Biography, Retrieved on 2009-02-09.
  2. Kenny: Babel Is Terrifying Liverpool F.C., (2007-09-06

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