Guus Hiddink will succeed Louis van Gaal as coach of the Netherlands, starting his second term in the hot seat following the conclusion of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Van Gaal had already announced he would not be continuing in the role after the tournament in Brazil, and the Royal Netherlands Football Association (KNVB) has now confirmed that Hiddink will be his successor. The 67-year-old has put pen to paper on a contract beginning on 1 August and running until the end of UEFA EURO 2016. He will be assisted by former Dutch internationals Ruud van Nistelrooy, 37, and Danny Blind, 52 – the latter of whom he will train as his replacement.
"It is an honour for me to return as Dutch national coach," Hiddink said. "With Danny Blind and Ruud van Nistelrooy we will have a solid team with a lot of knowledge and experience. I think it is a beautiful thing that I can prepare my own successor for the job, guaranteeing the vision of the Dutch national team for the long term. The team and the KNVB can profit hugely." Blind's own deal with the KNVB has been extended to cover the 2018 World Cup campaign.
A 1988 European Champion Clubs' Cup winner with PSV Eindhoven, Hiddink will take the helm for a second time, having led the Oranje to the quarter-finals of EURO '96 and the semi-finals of the 1998 World Cup. He has a wealth of experience at international level, having also guided South Korea to a fourth-place finish at the 2002 World Cup and Russia to the UEFA EURO 2008 semis.
KNVB director of professional football Bert van Oostveen commented: "Hiddink is a trainer of Dutch origin with huge international experience and success. We are also very satisfied with the technical staff – Blind has proved to be of value to the KNVB. Over the next two years he gets the chance to develop further under Hiddink, so the valuable knowledge and expertise are kept in-house." Current boss Van Gaal, 62, has been in the job since July 2012.
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