Advocaat named Netherlands coach for third time

Advocaat named Netherlands coach for third time

Advocaat named Netherlands coach for third time

The Dutch football association (KNVB) has confirmed the appointment of Dick Advocaat as Netherlands' new national team coach for a third time.

Advocaat led the Dutch to the 1994 World Cup quarter-finals in the USA, and also to the semi-finals of the European Championship in 2004.

Netherlands are now languishing in fourth place in Group A. If the team does qualify for the World Cup, they will stay in charge for the tournament, federation technical director Hans van Breukelen clarified.

"Either we made a decision to go with a long-term solution or we did everything we could to qualify for the 2018 World Cup".

Together with Henk ten Cate, now the coach of Al Jazira in the United Arab Emirates, Advocaat finally was the main candidate to do the job. The Netherlands, which failed to qualify for last year's European Championship, is in fourth place in Group A after five games.

If not, the KNVB "will think about what to do", added Van Breukelen.

It's Advocaat's third spell in charge following previous reigns between 1992-94 and 2002-04, while he also served as assistant in 2016. "We had two options".

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"I'm surprised that Henk had the feeling that he would be [named head coach]", Van Breukelen said.

"I've never been to Ten Cate and said he would be coach".

The fact that he left the team a year ago makes the appointment controversial.

Holland are now in fourth place in their qualifying group for Russian Federation 2018 and welcome Luxembourg to Rotterdam in June.

The 69-year-old managed many teams throughout his career, including the Dutch, Belgian, Russian and Serbian national sides, as well as PSV Eindhoven, Glasgow Rangers and Sunderland.

Advocaat earned praise in 2015 to help Sunderland avoid relegation and would need the same heroic act from Netherlands players in order to qualify for the World Cup. Only the group victor is guaranteed a place at the World Cup.

With Gullit, Advocaat got an assistant with great authority. The 54-year-old Gullit captained "Oranje" to the only trophy in the country's history, the European title in 1988.

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