Sunday September 19, 2021

Van Gaal returns for third stint as Netherlands coach

August 05, 2021

THE HAGUE: Dutchman Louis van Gaal will return for a third time as the national football coach, leading the team to the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, the Dutch football federation (KNVB) said Wednesday.

The appointment of the 69-year-old, dubbed the “Iron Tulip”, comes after the resignation of Frank de Boer in June after the Netherlands’ dismal last-16 exit from Euro 2020.

The no-nonsense Van Gaal, whose last major job was at Manchester United, previously managed the Oranje between 2000-2002 and 2012-2014, when they finished third at the World Cup in Brazil.

“Dutch football has always been close to my heart and national coaching is in my view a key position for the further advancement of our football. Moreover, I consider it an honour to coach the Dutch national team,” van Gaal said in a statement released by the KNVB.

“There is little time for the next qualifying matches, which are immediately crucial for participation in the World Cup. The focus is therefore immediately 100 percent on the players and the approach. After all, I was appointed for that.”

His technical staff will consist of assistants Danny Blind and Henk Fraser, and goalkeeping coach Frans Hoek, the KNVB said.

The Dutch federation said it had been looking for a coach with “exceptional qualities” to turn the ship around with a “minimal preparation period” for the World Cup.