Holland have confirmed former Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman will take over as their national head coach once Louis van Gaal steps down from the role after the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Koeman, who was sacked by Barcelona in October 2021 following a poor start to a season since the 1987-88 campaign, will return to international management on January 1, 2023.
Van Gaal thinks Koeman will be a ‘good successor’ due to his ‘experience’. While, Koeman says he is ‘looking forward to the new collaboration’.
During an interview designed to promote a new documentary about his life, Van Gaal revealed that he was battling an ‘aggressive’ form of prostate cancer and said that he had already undergone treatment on 25 occasions.
However, the 70-year-old manager said he would take charge of the Netherlands at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar before standing down from his role as the national head coach.
KNVB have since confirmed that Koeman, who left in 2020 to manage Barcelona, will officially take charge of the Netherlands from January 1, 2023.
Koeman’s contract with the national side will run through the 2024 European Championship and the 2026 World Cup.
Speaking about his appointment, Koeman said: ‘I am looking forward to the new collaboration. A little over a year and a half ago, I certainly did not leave the Dutch national team out of dissatisfaction.
‘My stay felt good, the results were good and the click with the internationals was good. We will soon continue on that path. That is certain for me.’
Van Gaal gave Koeman his blessing to take over as Holland manager next year – describing the former Barcelona boss as a ‘sensible successor’.
Speaking at a press conference on Monday, Van Gaal said: ‘I think that is very sensible. I told them myself. It is not all that difficult. A year ago I was the only available coach with experience.
‘That now applies to Ronald Koeman. I am not saying that for myself, but for him. He would be a good successor.’
Van Gaal has also spoken about his decision to step back from the Netherlands job – saying: ‘I have now had four periods as national coach, I went to the hospital in the evening or at night in every period. Without the players knowing.
‘They still see those ruddy cheeks of mine, and think ‘What a healthy pear that is.’ Well, of course, I am not.
‘I don’t think you tell the people you work with like that, because that might influence their choices or decisiveness or whatever. I thought they shouldn’t know.’