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Ex-Barcelona boss Koeman to resume as Netherlands manager for second spell

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Sulaimon Jamiu

Ronald Koeman will become the manager of the Netherlands for a second time after the 2022 Qatar World Cup.

Koeman, 59, will replace 70-year-old Louis van Gaal, who on Sunday revealed that he is receiving treatment for prostate cancer.

“Proud to share that after the World Cup I will once again fulfil the role of national coach,” said Koeman.

“Very much looking forward to this new challenge, on to achieving new successes together.”

Koeman, who has managed in England at Southampton and Everton, was in charge of the Dutch national side between 2018-2020. In his first spell, Koeman, a defender who played 78 times for the national team, got the job in February 2018, replacing Dick Advocaat after he had resigned following a failure to qualify for that year’s World Cup in Russia.

He took the Netherlands into the 2019 Uefa Nations League final, losing 1-0 to Portugal, and also took them to Euro 2020 – finishing second in their qualifying group behind Germany.

However, Koeman did not get to manage in the actual tournament as it was delayed for a year until 2021 because of the coronavirus pandemic and he had left the role to become Barcelona manager in August 2020. At Barcelona, he won the Copa del Rey in April 2021 but failed to win La Liga and was dismissed in October 2021.

After Van Gaal revealed his cancer diagnosis on Dutch television on Sunday, Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk said he wanted to give him “a World Cup to never forget” in Qatar later this year.

The Netherlands, losing finalists in three World Cups, have been drawn in Group A with hosts Qatar, Ecuador and Senegal. Their match against Senegal will kick the 2022 World Cup off on November 21, the tournament’s final on December 18.

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