Former Manchester United, Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager Louis van Gaal has been appointed Netherlands national team coach for the third time in his career, coming out of retirement in the hope of guiding the Oranje to the 2022 World Cup.
The 69-year-old succeeds Frank de Boer, who left the role by mutual consent in the wake of a disappointing Euro 2020 that saw Netherlands surprisingly knocked out by Czech Republic.
Van Gaal, who guided the Dutch team to third place at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, has agreed a contract that will cover the current World Cup cycle up to and including the finals tournament in Qatar taking place in November and December 2022.
Longstanding allies Danny Blind and Henk Fraser have joined as assistant coaches, with Frans Hoek brought on board as goalkeeping coach.
Blind was previously an assistant during Van Gaal’s last spell in charge, while the two were formerly teammates at Sparta Rotterdam in the 1980s. Blind was also captain when Van Gaal led Ajax to Champions League glory in 1995.
Fraser was another of Van Gaal’s Sparta Rotterdam teammates, while Hoek has also been on the coach’s staff in the past with both the national team and at Manchester United.
“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,” Van Gaal said as the Oranje made the announcement.
“Moreover, I consider it an honour to coach the Dutch national team. 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. It is good to be back in Zeist. By now I have already I have spoken to a number of players and the technical staff has been put together with the KNVB. I am very much looking forward to getting the job done together.”