Player profile

Ryan Babel

Birthdate: 19 December 1986
Birthplace: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Other clubs: Ajax (1997-2007), Hoffenheim (2011-12), Ajax (2 / 2012-13), Kasımpaşa (2013-15), Al Ain (2015-)
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

Player profile

The forwardBabel 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.

Babel played in sixteen Eredivisie matches for Ajax in 2012-13, scoring four times.

The forward signed a three -year contract with Turkish side Kasımpaşa in June 2013 and played in 28 first-team matches for the Süper Lig club in 2013/14, scoring five times. The following season he played the  same number of games, this time scoring nine goals before moving to the United Arab Emirates to join Al Ain.

Appearances per season

2007-2008 304213049
2008-2009 273210042
2009-2010 251210038
2010-2011 9116017

A more detailed look at the player's appearances

7West Ham United
6Manchester City
6Manchester United
5Blackburn Rovers
5Aston Villa
4Newcastle United
4Atletico Madrid
3Hull City
3Stoke City
3Birmingham City
3Bolton Wanderers
2Inter Milan
2Real Madrid
2Wigan Athletic
2Steaua Bucharest
2Unirea Urziceni
2PSV Eindhoven
2Luton Town
1Debrecen VSC
1Cardiff City
1Preston North End
1Leeds United
1Northampton Town
1Standard Liege
Total Started/substitutions
65 Started
24 On the bench
81 Substitute
40 Substituted

Goals per season

2007-2008 4105010
2008-2009 300104
2009-2010 400206
2010-2011 100102

A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring

TotalGoal minute period
216-30 minutes
531-45 minutes
246-60 minutes
161-75 minutes
1176-90 minutes
191-120 minutes
TotalOpen play/Penalty
22Open play

Wartime Appearances / Goals

No records to display.

Stats note

Milestone Appearances

111.08.2007Aston VillaVilla ParkLeague
10017.10.2009SunderlandStadium of LightLeague

Milestone Goals

14501.09.2007Derby AnfieldLeague

Related Articles

The conundrum that is Ryan Babel

submitted by Russell Wall on on 27 May 2009.More

Ryan Babel eager to build on his early progress at Liverpool

by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post. More

Ryan Babel top of the class

An article from The Times on 8th of October 2007.More

Towering Babel unawed by Liverpool's football temple

An article by Financial Times on 15th of September 2007.More

Rafa: Fans in for a treat next season

Rafa Benitez believes Liverpool fans are in for a treat when they see Ryan Babel and Yossi Benayoun in a red shirt next season. Published 13 July 2007.More

Related Quotes

"Henry is an idol for me. I used to watch a lot of him on TV because he plays upfront and I like to look at how he plays and what kind of decisions he makes at key moments. Like me, he started also as a winger before he joined Arsenal and it was unfortunate he left for Spain the year I arrived.

Benitez knows I like to play upfront, though, and hopefully one day he will give me the chance to play there and for me to focus on my favourite position. I'm trying to do the same as Henry by moving from winger to play inside. I try to improve my game so hopefully one day I'll be the same or maybe even better than the level Henry reached. I hope to give the manager another choice upfront and even after training I spend half an hour practising something extra such as my finishing or control to reach that level."

Ryan Babel is hopeful that he will one day emulate Thierry Henry


Other Clubs

Club Season Club rank League apps League goals Total apps Total goals
Ajax 2003-2004 Netherlands 1 1 0 1 0
Ajax 2004-2005 Netherlands 1 20 7 26 8
Ajax 2005-2006 Netherlands 1 25 2 35 4
Ajax 2006-2007 Netherlands 1 27 5 37 7
Hoffenheim 2010-2011 Germany 1 15 1 16 1
Hoffenheim 2011-2012 Germany 1 31 4 35 5
Ajax 2012-2013 Netherlands 1 16 4 22 5
Kasimpasa 2013-2014 Turkey 1 29 5 30 5
Kampasa 2014-2015 Turkey 1 29 9 29 9
Total 193 37 231 44