Louis van Gaal confirmed as Oranje coach for third time
Louis van Gaal has been officially confirmed as coach of the Dutch national men’s football team for a third spell, seven years after he last took the reins.
The 70-year-old said it was an ‘honour’ to be called out of retirement to succeed Frank de Boer, who stepped down after Oranje went out of Euro 2020 to the Czech Republic in the second round.
Van Gaal’s appointment was an open secret after KNVB officials travelled to his home in Portugal a month ago for talks. His last job in football ended when he was sacked by Manchester United in 2016 after two seasons at Old Trafford.
‘It’s quite something to be here for the third time,’ he said at a press conference at the football association’s Zeist headquarters. ‘I thought it was an honour in 2000 and 2012, but all the more so now because I’ve been retired for five years.
‘But I saw the need for it, and who else should do it?’
Van Gaal’s first task will be to qualify for next year’s World Cup in Qatar, with an away tie to Norway on September 1 followed by home games against Montenegro and Turkey later in the week.
‘I believe in this group of players, but it won’t be easy,’ he said.
After winning the European Cup with Ajax, Van Gaal coached the Netherlands at Euro 2000, when they jointly hosted the tournament with Belgium and went out to Italy on penalties in the semi-finals. Two years later he quit after failing to qualify for the 2002 World Cup.
He was also in charge in 2014 when the team reached the World Cup semi-finals. At that tournament Van Gaal controversially ditched the traditional 4-3-3 formation for a 5-3-2 set-up, with striker Dirk Kuijt playing as an improvised left-back. He also made headlines by bringing on goalkeeper Tim Krul for the penalty shoot-out against Costa Rica.
Thank you for donating to DutchNews.nl.
We could not provide the Dutch News service, and keep it free of charge, without the generous support of our readers. Your donations allow us to report on issues you tell us matter, and provide you with a summary of the most important Dutch news each day.Make a donation