Marco van Basten has stepped down as coach of AFC Ajax after failing to secure UEFA Champions League football next season after FC Twente ensured the Amsterdam side could finish no higher than third in the Dutch Eredivisie.
The 44-year-old handed his resignation to Ajax's general director Rik van den Boog today, the club releasing a statement explaining that the former Netherlands coach believed he "had not achieved his set goals this season and did not feel he would do any better next season". Van Basten's decision was perhaps made last weekend when a 4-0 defeat at lowly Sparta Rotterdam, coupled with Twente's 3-0 victory over newly-crowned champions AZ Alkmaar, meant they would have to settle for a UEFA Europa League place next season.
Van't Schip shapes up
The decision ends a brief spell at Ajax for the former AC Milan favourite, who arrived at the Amsterdam ArenA last summer after leading the Oranje to the UEFA EURO 2008™ quarter-finals. His assistant John van't Schip, 45, will take the reins for Sunday's final game of the season at home to Twente, with the four-time European champions needing a point to guarantee third place and a berth in next season's UEFA Europa League play-offs. If they lose and PSV Eindhoven win they will have to start in the third qualifying round.
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