OFFICIAL: Ronald Koeman to succeed Louis van Gaal as Netherlands coach after the World Cup

Ronald Koeman is to return as Netherlands coach when Louis van Gaal leaves the role after the World Cup in Qatar.

Van Gaal, who has long made it clear he will leave after the World Cup later this year, said last week he was receiving treatment for an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

Koeman had a successful two-and-a-half-year spell as national team coach before leaving to join Barcelona in 2020 and while the Royal Dutch Football Association have announced Van Gaal gave him his backing.

“They consulted me, I have a say in that,” Van Gaal told De Telegraaf. “It’s not that difficult. A year ago, I was the only coach available who had experience, that now applies to Koeman. He would be a good successor.”

Koeman added, in a statement from the KNVB: “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.”

Koeman helped Netherlands reach the Euro 2020 finals after they had missed the previous tournament and the 2018 World Cup, and also to the final of the Nations League, where they lost 1-0 to Portugal.

He left for what he described as his “dream job” at Barcelona in August 2020, having spent a hugely successful six years at the Camp Nou as a player.

He was sacked by Barca in October last year.

Netherlands head coach Louis van Gaal has announced he is suffering from prostate cancer

Van Gaal will lead the Netherlands when they open up the World Cup against Senegal on 21 November, with Qatar and Ecuador facing off in the other Group A opening fixtures.

Marianne van Leeuwen, director of professional football KNVB, added: “We are very happy that Ronald will return next year. During his previous ‘term’ as national coach, there was great satisfaction with his work and the results.

“That is why, after internal deliberations, I entered into discussions with Ronald and his agent Rob Jansen, together with director of top football Nico-Jan Hoogma.”

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