Ronald Koeman to succeed Louis van Gaal as Netherlands manager after Qatar World Cup

Dutchman returns to the role having left to take up his 'dream job' at Barcelona last summer

Soccer Football - UEFA Nations League - Netherlands Training - KNVB Campus, Zeist, Netherlands - November 15, 2018   Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman during training   REUTERS/Toussaint Kluiters
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Former Barcelona and Everton manager Ronald Koeman will return to the Netherlands national team dugout when Louis van Gaal steps down from the role after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) confirmed on Wednesday.

Van Gaal, who has long made it clear he will leave after the World Cup later this year, said last week he was receiving treatment for an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

Koeman helped the Netherlands reach the Euro 2020 finals after they had missed the previous tournament and the 2018 World Cup, and also to the final of the Nations League, where they lost 1-0 to Portugal.

The Dutchman left for what he described as his "dream job" at Barcelona in August 2020, but was sacked by the Catalan side in October last year.

"I'm looking forward to the new collaboration," Koeman told the KNVB website. "A little over a year and a half ago, I certainly did not leave the Dutch national team out of dissatisfaction.

"My stay felt good, the results were good, and the relationship with the players was good. We will soon continue on that path. That is certain for me."

Marianne van Leeuwen, director of professional football at KNVB, said they were keen to confirm the post-World Cup future of the team as soon as possible to provide clarity for the players and stakeholders.

"We are very happy that Ronald will return next year. During his previous term as national coach, there was great satisfaction with his work and the results," Van Leeuwen said.

Prior to his roles as Netherlands and Barcelona manager, Koeman had spells at Everton and Southampton in the Premier League, and has managed the three biggest clubs in Holland - Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, and Feyenoord - at various times during his career.

Koeman has also spent time as manager at Vitesse, Benfica, Valencia, and AZ Alkmaar.

Updated: April 06, 2022, 8:12 AM
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