Ronald Koeman will replace Louis van Gaal as Netherlands’ head coach following their World Cup quarter-final elimination.
It had long been confirmed that the former Barcelona manager would succeed Van Gaal after the tournament in Qatar and Netherlands’ elimination at the hands of long-term rivals Argentina spelt the end of Van Gaal’s third term as head coach.
The 71-year-old manager watched on as his tactical switch worked a treat when Wout Weghorst’s late brace dragged the dutch back from the dead after Nahuel Molina and Lionel Messi had put Argentina two goals ahead.
The Burnley-owned Besiktas forward ensured the heated tie went all the way to a nervy penalty shoot-out where the Dutch ultimately lost 4-3 after Virgil van Dijk and Steven Berghuis missed from 12 yards.
Confirming his exit after his side’s elimination, the former Manchester United manager said he did not feel defeated and spoke about his tenure with pride.
He said (via Gianluca Di Marzio): “I will not continue as coach of the Dutch selection, it was my last match for my third term. I am very proud.
“I called up many young players – I allowed them to gain experience. We formed a group, and when I look back, I see something very positive.
“I don’t feel defeated. I’m leaving an excellent group, a very close-knit and very technical team. I was a coach for 20 games, and we have never lost. There must be a reason. Also, we played against the best national teams.”
Van Gaal will depart his position after overseeing 20 matches where he recorded 2.35 points per match, bettering his previous two spells (2.21 between 2012 – 2014 and 2.00 between 2000-2001).
He will give way for another former Oranje manager in Koeman, who was first in charge of the national team from February 2018 to August 2020.
Koeman has been a free agent since he left his role at Barcelona in October 2021 and will assume his new role at the turn of the new year.
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