The Dutch Football Association has appointed Dick Advocaat to coach the Netherlands National Football side for the third time, along with Oranje legend Ruud Gullit as his number two.
Both the appointments were confirmed at a press conference in Zeist on Tuesday in a hope to lead the struggling team to next year’s World Cup in Russia. Advocaat succeeds Danny Blind, who was unable to lead the team to Euro 2016, and was sacked in March after a 2-0 defeat in Bulgaria.
Netherlands have already suffered two defeats in their opening five Group A games, and currently sit fourth in the pool, trailing to group leaders France by six points, while three and two points behind Sweden and Bulgaria respectively.
Advocaat, who turns 70 this September, has previously coached international sides including Russia, Belgium, and Serbia, as well as club teams including PSV Eindhoven, Glasgow Rangers, Zenit St. Petersburg, and Sunderland. He is set to become Holland’s oldest national coach, surpassing Guus Hiddink, who was 68 when he left the managerial post in June 2015.
Gullit, Advocaat’s appointed assistant, is an all-time Oranje great and a former Chelsea coach. The Dutch legend captained the Netherlands to the 1988 European Championship triumph – their only major tournament success.
According to FIFA, KNVB’s technical director Hans van Breukelen stated: “I am very happy with the appointment of Advocaat and Gullit.
“There were two scenarios. We opt for the longer term or we do everything that is possible to get to the 2018 World Cup. We chose the second scenario. It had to be a very experienced professional, preferably an authority.”
However, it remains to see what Advocaat will have in store for the fading Dutch side, with his first match in charge to be the team’s next World Cup qualifier, scheduled to take place against Luxembourg on 9th of June in Rotterdam.
Written by Sidharth Jindal