PSV Eindhoven captain Mark van Bommel has announced his retirement at the age of 36, with Phillip Cocu to replace Dick Advocaat as the club's coach.
Van Bommel was sent off after 70 minutes of PSV's 3-1 Eredivisie loss at FC Twente on Saturday for a second bookable offence, and has decided that his long career is over. "It has been great," said the 79-times capped Dutch international, who played 21 seasons at professional level for Fortuna Sittard, PSV, FC Barcelona, FC Bayern München, AC Milan and again PSV.
"I want to make sure that in years to come no one says I should have given up earlier," the midfielder added. "Besides, I have had problems with my left knee since last year. Deciding on the right moment to retire was very difficult. I have won 22 trophies in my career. I am very proud of that, as I am of having played in the 2010 World Cup final with the Oranje."
Van Bommel is now looking to go into coaching, like his former international team-mate Cocu, who has signed a four-year contract to replace Advocaat as PSV boss. PSV finished second in the Eredivisie and were runners-up in the Dutch Cup under Advocaat in his first season back in Eindhoven, but the 65-year-old's contract has not been extended.
Instead, former AZ Alkmaar, Vitesse, PSV, Barcelona and al-Jazira midfielder Cocu – who had been coaching PSV's top youth team – will take over. He previously stepped in as interim coach in March 2012 following Fred Rutten's departure, leading PSV to the Dutch Cup.
"I am going to work on building a new PSV, with the key goal to develop players, so young players can grow into key players," said the 42-year-old, whose assistants will be Ernest Faber and Chris van der Weerden. "If that works I believe we will be successful. It will become a challenging job. We have to start building a new team. Changes will be made."
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