Van Gaal named Netherlands head coach for third time following De Boer departure

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Louis van Gaal has been named Netherlands head coach for the third time following Frank de Boer's departure in June.

De Boer stepped down from the post following the Netherlands' disappointing round of 16 exit at the hands of the Czech Republic at the European Championships, and the Dutch Football Association (KNVB) have now turned to a familiar face to steady the ship.

Van Gaal has been appointed on an initial one-year deal to oversee the remainder of the Oranjes' World Cup qualifying campaign, and will also be in the dugout if they make it to the 2022 tournament in Qatar, with Danny Blind signing on as his assistant after stepping down from the Ajax board of directors.

What's been said?

Van Gaal has expressed his delight in an official statement: "Dutch football has always been close to my heart and national coaching is in my view a key position for the further advancement of our football.

"Moreover, I consider it an honour to coach the Dutch national team. There is little time for the next qualifying matches, which are immediately crucial for participation in the World Cup.

"The focus is therefore immediately 100 per cent on the players and the approach. After all, I was appointed for that. It is good to be back in Zeist.

"By now I have already I have spoken to a number of players and the technical staff has been put together with the KNVB. I am very much looking forward to getting the job done together." 

KNVB director Nico-Jan Hoogma has added: "In the coming months we will be faced with the task of qualifying for the World Cup. We have a minimal preparation period for this.

"With a view to this job, we were looking for a coach with exceptional qualities, who is also fast can anticipate and for those who have no secrets in national coaching.

"With his experience and track record at the highest level, we believe that we have that coach in Louis van Gaal. The contact was established quickly and we have spoken frequently since then.

"In the past few days, we have been able to carefully dot the i's together. We are happy that Louis is taking on this job."

Van Gaal's credentials

Van Gaal previously coached the Netherlands national team between 2000 and 2002 and between 2012 and 2014, guiding his country to third place at the World Cup in his second stint in charge.

At club level, the 69-year-old enjoyed a distinguished career spanning 25 years, delivering the Champions League at Ajax before going onto win two Liga titles at Barcelona, one Bundesliga crown at Bayern Munich and the FA Cup at Manchester United.

Van Gaal also won the Eredivisie during a spell with AZ Alkmaar in 2008-09, but has been out of work since being sacked by United in 2016.

What's next for the Netherlands?

Van Gaal's first game back at the helm will come when the Netherlands resume their World Cup qualifying campaign with a clash against Norway on September 1.

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The Oranjes are also due to face Montenegro and Turkey during the first international break of the new season as they bid to finish top of Group G and book an automatic spot at Qatar 2022.

The Netherlands are sitting second in their pool on six points after three fixtures, one behind leaders Turkey, with Latvia and Gibraltar completing the six-team group.

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