Players - Ryan Babel

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 (2015-16), Deportivo La Coruna (2016), Besiktas (2017-19), Fulham (2019), Galatasaray (2019-), Ajax (3 / loan 2020)
Bought from: Ajax
Signed for LFC: £11.5m, 13.07.2007
International debut: 26.03.2005 vs. Romania
International caps: 67/10 (26/1 at LFC) - 11.11.2020
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
Total games/goals opposite LFC: 1 / 1
League games / goals / assists: 91 / 12 / 5
Total games / goals / assists: 146 / 22 / 15

Player Profile

The forward 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 the 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 about 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 fulfil 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. Babel's 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. babel made eight appearances up to December 2015 but then fell out with the club's hierarchy over his social media use and other disciplinary issues. He did not play in the second half of the season and after being released from his contract he joined Deportivo La Coruna on 14th September 2016 on a short term deal. He said it was a dream to play in La Liga and that his lack of a pre-season could be overcome due to his experience. Four goals in eleven games proved he was right but he chose not to negotiate an extension and on 2nd January returned to Turkey, agreeing a two year and a half deal with Besiktas, reportedly worth £1.8 million per season.

Babel was an immediate hit in Turkey, scoring five goals as Besiktas claimed the title. He also earned a return to the Dutch squad. 2017-18 was again impressive but in 2018-19 he struggled with injuries in the first half of the season. With his contract nearing an end, he was allowed to leave Besiktas on 15th January 2019, making a return to the Premier League with Fulham on a deal until the end of the season. Following Fulham's relegation, he was released and signed a three-year deal with Turkish champions Galatasaray. He scored five goals in fifteen appearances in the first half of the season, before agreeing a deal in the January transfer window to join Ajax for a third time, on loan for the remainder of the season. When the Covid 19 pandemic broke out Babel had made just five apearances. The Dutch Eredivisie was cancelled and no title awarded with Ajax being on top only by goal difference.
Appearances per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 91 9 7 39 0 146
2007-2008 30 4 2 13 0 49
2008-2009 27 3 2 10 0 42
2009-2010 25 1 2 10 0 38
2010-2011 9 1 1 6 0 17
A more detailed look at the player's appearances
Total Opponent
11 Chelsea
7 West Ham United
7 Everton
6 Manchester City
6 Manchester United
6 Arsenal
5 Fulham
5 Tottenham
5 Blackburn Rovers
5 Portsmouth
5 Aston Villa
4 Sunderland
4 Middlesbrough
4 Newcastle United
4 Atletico Madrid
3 Reading
3 Hull City
3 Stoke City
3 Birmingham City
3 Bolton Wanderers
2 Inter Milan
2 Trabzonspor
2 Real Madrid
2 Wigan Athletic
2 Marseille
2 Lille
2 Steaua Bucharest
2 Unirea Urziceni
2 Derby
2 Besiktas
2 PSV Eindhoven
2 Porto
2 Luton Town
2 Toulouse
1 Fiorentina
1 Utrecht
1 Havant
1 Debrecen VSC
1 Lyon
1 Napoli
1 Cardiff City
1 Preston North End
1 Leeds United
1 Wolves
1 Crewe
1 Benfica
1 Barnsley
1 Northampton Town
1 Standard Liege
1 Burnley
Total Started/substitutions
65 Started
24 On the bench
81 Substitute
40 Substituted
Total Competition
91 Premier League
26 Champions League
13 Europa League
9 FA Cup
7 League Cup
Goals per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 12 1 0 9 0 22
2007-2008 4 1 0 5 0 10
2008-2009 3 0 0 1 0 4
2009-2010 4 0 0 2 0 6
2010-2011 1 0 0 1 0 2
A more detailed look at the player's goalscoring
Assists per season
Season League FA LC Europe Other Total
Totals 5 2 3 5 0 15
2007-2008 3 2 0 1 0 6
2008-2009 1 0 2 2 0 5
2009-2010 1 0 1 1 0 3
2010-2011 0 0 0 1 0 1
A more detailed look at the player's assists
Milestone Appearances
# Date Against Stadium Competition
1 11.08.2007 Aston Villa Villa Park League
50 23.08.2008 Middlesbrough Anfield League
100 17.10.2009 Sunderland Stadium of Light League
Milestone Goals
# Minute Date Against Stadium Competition
1 45 01.09.2007 Derby Anfield League
Related Articles
Ex-Red Babel reveals he faced mental health issues after Liverpool axed him

From the Mirror on 8 June 2019.

Ryan Babel criticises Liverpool coaches for failing to realise his potential

From 20 January 2019.

The conundrum that is Ryan Babel

submitted by Russell Wall on on 27 May 2009.

Ryan Babel eager to build on his early progress at Liverpool

by Ian Doyle, Liverpool Daily Post.

Ryan Babel top of the class

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

Towering Babel unawed by Liverpool's football temple

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

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.

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
Al Ain 2015-2016 United Arab Emirates 1 8 1 14 2
Deportivo 2016-2017 Spain 1 11 4 12 5
Besiktas 2016-2017 Turkey 1 18 5 24 8
Besiktas 2017-2018 Turkey 1 32 13 43 15
Besiktas 2018-2019 Turkey 1 12 4 19 6
Galatasaray 2019-2020 Turkey 1 15 5 20 5
Ajax 2019-2020 Netherlands 1 5 0 7 1
Total 294 69 370 86