Koeman to return as Netherlands manager after 2022 World Cup following Van Gaal's cancer diagnosis

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Ronald Koeman will return to the role of Netherlands head coach after the 2022 World Cup, with the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) confirming the news following Louis van Gaal's cancer diagnosis.

Koeman previously managed the Netherlands between 2018 and 2020 before leaving to take up the top job at Barcelona.

The 59-year-old, who has also taken in stints in the Premier League with Southampton and Everton, has been out of work since being sacked by the Blaugrana in October, but will return to the international fold in 2023.

What's been said?

Koeman said after the announcement was made on Wednesday: “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.”

The KNVB's director of professional football, Marianne van Leeuwen, has 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.”

Why is Van Gaal stepping down?

The Netherlands have moved quickly to secure a successor for Van Gaal following the revelation that he has been battling prostate cancer.

The 70-year-old has received radiation treatment and vowed to take his country to the World Cup in Qatar, while also insisting that his illness is not terminal.

Van Leeuwen says the KNVB moved quickly to find a long-term replacement for Van Gaal after being made aware of his diagnosis.

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“I did not want to wait to fill in the succession of Louis van Gaal," he said. "After all, the changing of the guard will come at an atypical moment; end of the calendar year, a period in which top trainers have been under contract for a long time. 

"As early as mid-January, we therefore decided to contact Ronald, who was available. Then we came to an agreement in a few conversations."

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