It's the last minute of the match in a packed Stade Velodrome in Marseille, The Netherlands and Argentina are all square at one-a-piece when Frank de Boer hits the ball out from defense. It travels half the length of the pitch, Dennis Bergkamp watches it every inch of the way. He brings the ball down with one of the best first-touches you'll ever see, plays it through the defender's legs and, with the outside of his boot, slots the ball into the net to send The Netherlands into the semi-finals of the 1998 World Cup. Route-one football at its best.
Four years earlier, the Dutch forward was being ridiculed by the English press. Arsenal's record signing had failed to score in the opening half-dozen games of the season, and many were wondering if Bruce Rioch had just spent the family fortune on a player who wasn't wanted by Inter Milan, and who the Italian press had previously labeled a 'donkey'.

The Netherlands has produced some true football masters over the years, but the relative weakness of the Dutch league means there's always a risk that players who seem good don't quite live up to the hype. Dennis Bergkamp certainly looked like the real deal for Ajax. After being given his debut at the age of 17 by Johan Cruyff, who knew a thing or two about football, Bergkamp went on to score for the Dutch giants at a rate of over one goal every other game, helping Ajax to the Eredivisie along with European honours. But his big-money move to Inter Milan didn't see him hit the same heights in Italy, and at the start of the 1995-6 season, it was looking as though Inter had made the correct decision in offloading Bergkamp to Arsenal.
But it turned out that buying Dennis Bergkamp was the best thing Bruce Rioch did during his short spell at Highbury. Back in 1996, the Premier League wasn't packed with foreign stars like it is today. In that regard, Bergkamp was one of the early trailblazers, the first of the big names, along with Jurgen Klinsmann and Gianfranco Zola, to move to the recently revamped league. Adapting to England was tough at first, but once Arsene Wenger took charge, Arsenal had a manager who knew how to get the best out of Bergkamp.

The Dutch forward thrived under Wenger's more continental regiment, and was influential in helping Wenger win his first league title. More than that, his touch of class helped pave the way for other exciting imports, which led to the Premier League becoming the most watched league in the world. The skill and control required for his third goal against Leicester City led his hat-trick in that game to be described by opposition manager Martin O'Neill as the best he had ever seen, and such flair and technique went a long way to help English football shake off its reputation for being a bit of a clobber-fest.
Bergkamp's impact at Arsenal is such that he is one of the few players to be honoured with a statue outside the Emirates Stadium. He is currently back at Ajax, learning his trade as the club's assistant manager. But perhaps one day, he will return to Arsenal and take up the hot seat in north London.