Dick Advocaat has been named as Netherlands coach for a third time, with *Oranje *legend Ruud Gullit confirmed as his assistant.
The 70-year-old Advocaat succeeds Danny Blind, who was sacked in March in the aftermath of a 2-0 defeat in Bulgaria that left the Dutch fourth in their FIFA World Cup™ qualifying section. They trail Group A leaders France by six points, while Sweden and the Bulgarians are three and two points ahead respectively.
Hans van Breukelen, the KNVB’s technical director, said: "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."
Advocaat certainly fits the bill in that respect. A vastly experienced coach who has won titles in Russia, Scotland and his native Netherlands and coached several other national teams, he has held this position on two previous occasions (1992-94 and 2002-04). In taking charge for a third time, he will leave his post as coach of Turkish giants Fenerbahce at the end of their current campaign.
Gullit, meanwhile, is an all-time Oranje great, one of the heroes of the team’s 1988 UEFA European Championship triumph and a player who won the last of his 66 senior caps under Advocaat.