Ron van den Berg (August 15, 1960) was a midfielder who was active as a professional between 1980 and 1996. He played for Sparta for most of his career.
Between 1985 and 1987, Van den Berg played for FC Groningen and at the end of his career he played a number of games for Excelsior. But the rest of his career consisted of Sparta, Sparta and Sparta Rotterdam. Many boys from their own youth made it to the first team such as Ronald Lengkeek, Aad Andriessen and Robert Verbeek.
Ron van den Berg was a left-footed midfielder. In the 1980/1981 season he made his appearance for 'De Rood-Witte Gladiatoren'. He was brought quietly and played six games in his first season (no goals). The following season he already played seventeen games to become and remain a basic player.
In the seasons 1983-1984 and 1985-1986 he even participated in the European Cup III tournament. In the first year, Sparta was only eliminated in the eighth finals by too strong Spartak Moscow (1-1 and 0-2). A year later, Van den Berg and associates were able to eliminate Hamburger SV after an exciting penalty series. Unfortunately, another German team, Borussio Mönchengladbach, was too strong in the next round.
After 123 games and 22 goals, Van den Berg thought it was time to move to the local FC in Groningen. Here, Ron played 58 games in two seasons in which he managed to score five times. Here too Van den Berg went 'European'. 'The FC' survived the first round, and the team also came through the second round, against the Swiss Xamax Neuchatel. FC Groningen stranded in the third round when it turned out to be no match for the Portuguese Vitória Guimarães in two games.
Ron van den Berg decided it was time for a return to the club where it had started for him: Sparta Rotterdam. He would play the most games in eight seasons. He brought his total number of matches in a Sparta shirt to 306 by playing another 183 times for the 'Castle club'. He managed to score 33 goals.
He finished phasing out at Excelsior. After one season and five games, he had had enough. Van den Berg, who had meanwhile been nicknamed 'Chicory', decided in 1996 to hang his shoes on the proverbial willows.
After his active football career, he worked at Sparta for some time as an assistant to then trainer Frank Rijkaard. In 2012 he was a coach at SV ARC in Alphen aan de Rijn. In 2014 Van den Berg switched to RVV Kocatepe. He works in Rotterdam for a ship brokerage company and lives in Hellevoetsluis.
(Photo: ANP – Foundation)