The Dutchman regards the Manchester United ace as the ultimate goal getter.
"He is one of the best and the finest strikers in the world," Van Hooijdonk told NUSport.
"For me, to be honest, I'm quite astonished. Two years back for the 2010 World Cup, I did not see him a real striker, he missed that nose for the goal.
"But he's totally changed. Remains longer in the box, lurking more and scores real striker goals."