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How well do you remember what Darius Vassell did against Holland on his England debut?

It's easy to forget that Darius Vassell scored a ludicrous bicycle kick against Holland on his England debut

On 14 February the world collectively gets mugged off for £10 roses on Valentine’s Day.

But it’s okay, because we’re all still basking in the glory of the previous 24 hours spent celebrating Darius Vassell Day.

What’s that, you don’t celebrate Darius Vassell Day? You don’t even know what it is? Well allow us to get you up to speed.


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Lionel Messi’s idol

News Group Newspapers Ltd
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Lionel Messi’s idol

On 13 February 2002 England travelled to Amsterdam to take on Louis van Gaal’s Holland side.

This was a Holland side dripping with talent, unlike the current squad that Ryan Babel still gets in to.

To score you had to beat Edwin Van der Sar and Frank de Boer while at the other end you were trying to keep out Marc Overmars, Edgar Davids, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Patrick Kluivert.

Who’s winning that battle?

PA:Press Association
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Who’s winning that battle?

But Sven-Goran Eriksson’s England were no mugs.

We had Gary Neville, Sol Campbell and Rio Ferdinand in defence with David Beckham, Paul Scholes and Steven Gerrard playing as a three ahead of them.

Then we get to England’s attack. Vassell and Michael Ricketts either side of Emile Heskey. Oh Sven, you lovable Swede.

The King of England with an unknown fan

Reuters
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The King of England with an unknown fan

England didn’t get off to the best of starts when Kluivert’s deflected shot made Nigel Martyn do the splits before dribbling into the back of the net after 26 minutes.

However, with an hour on the clock, Lionel Messi’s idol stepped up to the plate.

Beckham whipped in a textbook right-footed cross. The type of cross you could only conjure if you were born in Whipps Cross hospital.

The ball found Vassell who dispatched it past Van der Sar with a bicycle kick.

Cue thousands of England fans in the stadium simultaneously rubbing their eyes and wondering if that cigarette they shared with a Dutch fan before the game was really a cigarette.

Vassell would go on to play a further 21 times for England, scoring another five goals.

The international stage wasn’t as kind to Ricketts, who didn’t play another game for England.

At least he can always say he had one of the best seats in the house to watch Vassell defy logic and reason.

The look on Edwin’s face says it all

Reuters
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The look on Edwin’s face says it all

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