Louis Van Gaal has been appointed as Netherlands Manager for a third stint, having twice previously taken charge of the Dutch national men’s team.
Van Gaal has signed a 16 month contract which will see him in charge of Netherlands’ 2022 FIFA World Cup Qualifying campaign and potentially the main tournament in Qatar from November-December 2022, should the Oranje qualify.
This is Van Gaal’s third spell in charge of Netherlands after the team failed to qualify for 2002 FIFA World Cup in his first tenure, before finishing third at 2014 FIFA World Cup in his second spell as boss.
Speaking on his third appointment as manager of the national team, Van Gaal said: “Dutch football has always been close to my heart and the national coachship is, in my opinion, a key position for moving our football forward. Moreover, I consider it an honour to coach the Dutch national team.”
The ex Manchester United manager also warned that a slow start for players in adapting to his style isn’t possible due to three upcoming ‘immediately crucial’ qualifiers, which take place between 1-7 September 2021.
Van Gaal has already spoken to various players but iterated that the priority has to be on the team and their methods, saying: “The focus is therefore 100 percent on the players and the approach.”
KNVB Director of Football, Nico-Jan Hoogma added that Van Gaal has “exceptional qualities” which met their requirements due to “minimum preparation period” for upcoming matches across the next few months following Frank De Boer’s departure after a disappointing Euro 2020 campaign this summer.
Hoogma proceeded to explain the decision in-depth, as he said: “With his experience and track record at the highest level, we have that coach in our eyes with Louis van Gaal.
“The contact was made quickly and we have spoken many times since then. In the last few days we have been able to carefully put the finishing touches together.”
KNVB have also confirmed that Danny Blind and Henk Fraser will be assistant coaches to Van Gaal, whilst Frans Hoek takes up the role of goalkeeping coach, with all four men starting their new roles with immediate effect.
Netherlands currently sit second in Qualifying Group G which would see them advance to the Qualifying Play-Offs as things stand, with crunch qualifiers against Norway, Montenegro and Turkey taking place next month between 1-7 September 2021.