V is for...

uefa.com's A to Z countdown to the UEFA Champions League final continues with vibrant Vs.

As uefa.com Action's A to Z countdown to the UEFA Champions League final on 25 May continues, it is time for some great Vs.

Prolific is a good word to use to describe Manchester United FC striker Ruud van Nistelrooij. Since joining United from PSV Eindhoven in 2001 he has averaged more than a goal every two games, finishing as the Champions League's top scorer twice, with ten goals in 2000/01 and 12 in 2001/02.

Van Nistelrooij continued his goal scoring record in this season's competition, writing his name into the record books after he became only the fourth player to score four goals in a game. The Dutchman single handedly took apart AC Sparta Praha with an awesome display of finishing in the group stage.

Despite the fact that United were knocked out of this season's competition Van Nistelrooij remains on course to finish as the Champions League's top scorer with eight goals. Injury may have kept him away from his usual imperious form this season, but there is no question that he is one of Europe's, if not the world's top strikers.

Another Dutchman, Mark van Bommel, has been an even more influential player than Van Nistelrooij, taking the United striker's old side, PSV Eindhoven, to the semi-finals of the tournament this season with some inspirational play in midfield. He was PSV's driving force since joining the club from SC Fortuna Sittard six years ago.

While his time at the Philips Stadion saw Van Bommel win plenty of domestic honours while cementing a place in the Dutch national team, an agonising away-goals defeat against Milan in this season's semi-final denied him a last chance at winning European silverware with PSV, as he will join FC Barcelona this summer.

He will leave PSV with another Eredivisie winner's medal safely in his possession - and possibly another Dutch Cup winners medal too - but a move to Barcelona will see Van Bommel back in the Champions League next season pursuing his quest for a first major continental honour.

Part of a great player's repertoire, the volley is arguably the most spectacular shot of all - but it is also one of the most difficult. As often as not, volleyed shots on goal end up in the stands rather than in the back of the net, but as Zinedine Zidane proved when his volleyed effort in the 2001/02 final won the Champions League for Real Madrid CF, if you hit them right, they can be unforgettable.

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