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Van Gaal returns for third term as Netherlands coach

FOOTBALL By Xinhua | August 4th 2021
FILE: 26/12/15 Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal looks dejected Action Images via Reuters

Veteran Dutch coach Louis van Gaal has been named new coach of the national soccer team of the Netherlands on Wednesday.

Van Gaal succeeds Frank de Boer, who quit after the disappointing exit in the last 16 of Euro 2020. The 69-year-old Van Gaal signed a contract until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. Former Dutch internationals Danny Blind and current Sparta Rotterdam coach Henk Fraser accompany him as assistants, while Frans Hoek returns as keeper trainer.

Former Ajax, AZ, FC Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Manchester United trainer Van Gaal previously coached 'Oranje' from 2000 to 2002 and from 2012 to 2014. During his first term he failed to lead the Dutch to the 2002 World Cup and in his second period he guided the Netherlands to a third place at the 2014 World Cup.

Van Gaal's mission now is to lead his country to Qatar. He will start in September this year with three crucial World Cup qualification matches against Norway (September 1 in Oslo), Montenegro (September 4 in Eindhoven) and Turkey (September 7 in Amsterdam). 'Oranje' is currently second behind Turkey in Group G with six points from three matches.

"I consider it an honor to coach the Dutch national team," Van Gaal said in a press release of the Dutch football association KNVB. "The Dutch team has always been in my heart and the coaching job is crucial to bring our football forward. I already spoke to some players. Time is short, but I am looking forward to get the job done."


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