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Frank de Boer appointed Dutch national team coach

The Hague (AFP) – Frank de Boer has been appointed as the Netherlands’ new coach, the Royal Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) announced on Wednesday.

The third-most capped Dutch player of all time, De Boer replaces Ronald Koeman who resigned earlier this year to take the reins at Barcelona, and caretaker coach Dwight Lodeweges.

“The 50-year-old former international will be at the helm of the Oranje until the World Cup in 2022,” the KNVB said in a statement.

De Boer “is to start immediately,” it added, saying he “will already be on the bench in the upcoming practice match against Mexico and the Nations League duels with Bosnia-Herzegovina and Italy”.

De Boer, a talented left-footed defender while playing for the Oranje between 1990 and 2004, has had a mixed career as a coach.

He first took up coaching at Amsterdam powerhouse Ajax in 2007 and assisted Bert van Marwijk, together with retired player Phillip Cocu to help the Dutch team reach the final of the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, where they were beaten by Spain.

Later that year he took over as caretaker manager at Ajax and guided them to become Eredivisie champions for the 2010-11 season.

By 2014 De Boer won his fourth successive Eredivisie title with Ajax, the first manager ever to achieve this in the Dutch league.

He resigned from Ajax in 2016 and signed a three-year contract at Inter Milan in August that year, but was sacked after only 85 days at the helm after a string of losses.

In June 2017 De Boer was announced as the new manager of Premier League side Crystal Palace but was again fired 10 weeks later when Palace lost their first four league matches of the season without scoring a single goal.

He was announced as new coach at Atlanta United in December 2018 and in his first season the eastern team won the US Open and the Campeones Cup and played in the Eastern Conference final.

De Boer and the club however parted ways in July after another set of losses, after which he was approached by the KNVB.

– ‘Wiser’ –

The KNVB also approached former Dutch international Frank Rijkaard and Bayer Leverkusen trainer Peter Bosz for the job, the popular daily Algemeen Dagblad said.

“Rijkaard was not interested in returning to the football world and Bosz extended his contract with Bayer Leverkusen,” the paper said.

Louis van Gaal, seen as one of the most successful Dutch coaches who took the team to third place in Brazil in the 2014 FIFA World Cup, was not approached, the paper said.

As a Dutch international, De Boer ran out in the orange shirt 112 times and is the third-most capped player after Dutch legends Wesley Sneijder and goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.

In the Netherlands his appointment was widely welcomed.

In the end “it’s become Frank de Boer,” former player and football commentator Hans Kraay Jnr said.

“He has… become wiser and the fact that he has had no success at all after Ajax, probably makes him think ‘this is a world-class opportunity for me’,” Kraay told Fox Sports.

“I think he’ll be fine,” Kraay said.

De Boer will officially be presented by the KNVB at its training centre in Zeist near the central city of Utrecht on Friday.

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