Rinus Michels and Liverpool FC manager Gérard Houllier have received special UEFA awards.
Legendary Dutch coach Rinus Michels and Liverpool FC manager Gérard Houllier have received special UEFA awards for their achievements in football.
Michels, the brains behind the Dutch 'Total Football' phenomenon of the 1970s, was presented with the UEFA lifetime achievement award for his work in the field of coaching at the 12th UEFA Course for Coach Educators in Barcelona on Wednesday.
The Dutchman is one of the world’s most respected coaching authorities, and enjoyed glittering success in his career as a coach, in particular with the Dutch national team, AFC Ajax and FC Barcelona, nurturing such gifted stars as Johann Cruyff and Johan Neeskens.
He led the Netherlands to the World Cup runners-up spot in the Federal Republic of Germany in 1974. After taking the helm again the following decade, Michels enjoyed his greatest triumph when he took a new generation of Dutch talent, including Ruud Gullit and Marco van Basten, to the 1988 UEFA European Championship title, again on German soil.
Gérard Houllier has received a UEFA award for his special contribution to the game. The Frenchman was unable to travel to Barcelona for the awards ceremony, as he is still recovering from heart surgery. English coach and close friend Roy Hodgson accepted the award on Houllier’s behalf.
Houllier established his reputation as a coach by winning Le Championnat with Paris Saint-Germain FC in 1986. He went on to coach the French national team in the early 1990s before accepting the post of technical director of the French Football Federation.
During his spell with the French FA, a far-reaching and innovative development policy was implemented, which has ultimately resulted in a conveyor belt of world stars who have brought France the 1998 World Cup and EURO 2000™ titles.
Returning to club management with Liverpool FC, Houllier achieved the remarkable feat last year of winning five trophies – the UEFA Cup, UEFA Super Cup, English FA Cup, English League Cup and English FA Charity Shield inside one calendar year.