Birthdate: 19 December 1986
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Other clubs: Ajax (1997-2007), Hoffenheim (2011-12), Ajax (2 / 2012-)
Bought from: Ajax
Signed for LFC: £11.5m, 13.07.2007
International debut: 26.03.2005 vs. Romania
International caps: 42/5 (26/1 at LFC) - 17.11.2011
Liverpool debut: 11.08.2007
Last appearance: 09.01.2011
Debut goal: 01.09.2007
Last goal: 06.12.2010
Contract expiry: 25.01.2011
Win ratio: 50% W: 73 D: 37 L: 36
Games/goals ratio: 6.64
LFC league games/goals: 91 / 12
Total LFC games/goals: 146 / 22
Babel signed his first professional contract with Ajax in January 2004, after breaking through the club's youth ranks since arriving in 1998. He made his Ajax debut in a 4-0 win over ADO Den Haag in the Eredivisie on 1 February 2004. Ajax won the championship, the only time in his career at the club. Babel featured considerably more the following season, scoring seven goals in 13 league starts and made the breakthrough into the international side against Romania in a World Cup qualifying match. He even scored in Netherlands' 2-0 victory. The goal made Babel the youngest goalscorer in 68 years for the Netherlands and the fourth-youngest of all time. He was a member of Marco van Basten's 2006 World Cup squad. He made one appearance as a second-half substitute for van Nistelrooy against Argentina in the group stages. Babel was a key player for the Dutch team that won the UEFA Under-21 Championship, which was held in the Netherlands in the summer of 2007. His second goal of the tournament came during his man-of-the-match performance in the final as the Netherlands defeated Serbia 4-1 to retain their title.
In July 2007 Babel became third most expensive player in Liverpool's history. Much was expected of Babel as a new season approached after he was unveiled along with Yossi Benayoun. Babel made 30 appearances in the League, to which he added a further 19 appearances in cup matches. Babel mostly played wide on the left, seemed to be very one-footed and liked to cut inside on his right foot to produce a pass or a shot. He did also show that he was capable of taking on and beating a defender by going outside his opponent on his left foot. Nobody could complain at his goal contribution during the season. In addition to those he created, Babel scored ten times, four in the League and six in the cups, including a brace on the night Besiktas were put to the sword at Anfield in the Champions League group stage. His final two goals of the season were also in that competition, the one that made sure there was no way back for Arsenal in the quarter-final at Anfield and the long-range extra-time shot the briefly raised hopes of a sensational climax to the semi-final at Chelsea.
Babel failed to live up to expectations in his second season at Liverpool. He made only 13 starts, no less than 29 substitute appearances and scored four goals. He drifted in and out of games and despite having obvious skill and pace he consistently took the wrong decision on the field of play. Babel started his third season yet to properly fulfill the potential he had shown as a youngster with Ajax in Holland. One thrilling goal at Lyon apart, it didn't really happen this time either. His 38 appearances took him past the century mark in all competitions. But there were only six goals to add to the 14 from his first two years on Merseyside. In the mid-season transfer-window, Liverpool apparently rejected a huge offer for Babel from Birmingham City. From the end of January until the end of the season the manager kept faith with him. During that period he started 11 matches and came on as a substitute on ten more occasions. His petulance in Portugal saw him sent off at a critical stage of the Europa League tie with Benfica. Babel was not short of pace but made it easy for defenders to predict his next move as he was basically a one-trick pony and even that trick was nothing to write home about.
On 18 January 2011 Liverpool accepted a bid for their Dutch forward from Hoffenheim. Although both buying and selling clubs were in agreement, it initially seemed that the player could not agree personal terms with the German club. Six days after accepting the Germans' offer, Kenny Dalglish announced that Babel would be staying at Anfield after all. However, only 24 hours later, Babel returned to Germany and signed a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Bundesliga club. The fee was reported to be £5.8m so considerably less than what Liverpool paid Ajax for the twenty-year-old in
July 2007. Babel featured in almost half a century of Bundesliga games at the mid-table German club before being released in the summer of 2012. On 31 August 2012 Babel signed a one-year-deal with his first club, Ajax.