AMSTERDAM: Ronald Koeman has been appointed new Dutch national coach, entrusted with rebuilding Holland’s national team after their disappointing failure to qualify for this year’s World Cup finals in Russia writes KEIR RADNEDGE.
His first game in charge will be against England next month.
Koeman, former European champion midfielder with both Holland at national team level and PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona at club level, has been out of work since being sacked by English Premier League club Everton last October.
The 54-year-old, who has signed a contract up to and including the 2022 World Cup, said: “I am super happy. I think it is a great challenge and an absolute honour to be the national coach of the Dutch national team in the coming years.”
Asked about the reconstruction challenge ahead, Koeman said: “Maybe we no longer have the very best players, but you can form a good team. It is not as bad as we think. Of course, the Dutch league no longer belongs among the best domestic competitions, but there is a lot of talent.
“Good players always get their chance here and I have to make the best of that. ”
Koeman, born on March 21, 1963, began alongside brother Erwin at their father’s old club, Groningen and later they were members together of the Holland side which won the European Championship in Germany, beating the Soviet Union 2-0 in Munich.
Ronald won the treble of European Champions Cup, Dutch league and cup in 1988 then moved to Barcelona in 1989 – winning four Spanish league titles and the Champions Cup again in 1992. It was Koeman’s goal from a free kick in extra time when proved decisive as Barcelona defeated Sampdoria at Wembley.