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Dick Advocaat to become Netherlands coach for the third time

Brendan O'Neill in News 9 May 2017
Dick Advocaat (credit:livesport.co.uk)

Dick Advocaat will be confirmed this week as the Netherlands national team coach for a third time and with Ruud Gullit as his assistant, according to media reports in Holland.

The former Rangers and Sunderland manager, who turns 70 in September, would become his country's oldest ever national team coach. He would usurp Guus Hiddink, who was 68 when he left the hotseat in June 2015.

Hiddink's successor, Danny Blind, who was unable to lead the team to Euro 2016, was sacked in March this year after their World Cup qualifying loss to Bulgaria.

The Oranje have suffered two defeats in their opening five Group A matches and sit fourth in the table, already six points behind leaders France and three behind second-placed Sweden.

Reports in the Netherlands suggest the appointment of the well-travelled 69-year-old, who is currently employed at Turkish club Fenerbahce, will be confirmed as soon as the paperwork has been completed.

Dutch Football Association (KNVB) technical director Hans van Breukelen will speak about the situation on Wednesday, according to De Telegraaf. 

Advocaat has had two previous stints as national team boss, from 1992-94 and 2002-04, plus three as assistant including most recently last year. Only Rinus Michels has had so many spells in charge.

Former Netherlands captain Gullit looks set to be named as Advocaat's assistant. The 54-year-old won the last five of his 66 caps towards the end of Advocaat's first tenure before a dispute over tactics in the build-up to the 1994 World Cup signalled the end of Gullit's international career.

Advocaat led the Netherlands to the quarter-finals of the 1994 World Cup in the United States, where they lost to Brazil, and to the semi-finals of Euro 2004, at which they were knocked out by hosts Portugal.

As well as an impressive CV in European club football and his Netherlands roles, Advocaat has managed the United Arab Emirates, South Korea, Belgium, Russia and Serbia.

He was appointed Sunderland manager in March 2015 as successor to Gus Poyet, keeping them in the Premier League, and left the following October when replaced by Sam Allardyce having won only four of his 19 matches in charge.