Louis van Gaal appointed - again - as Netherlands coach
The 69-year-old Van Gaal first coached "Oranje" from 2000-2002, when the team failed to qualify for the World Cup. But he had more success the second time, leading the squad to a third-place finish at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
He was lauded in Brazil for tactical substitutions including when he swapped goalkeepers deep in extra time of the quarterfinal against Costa Rica and saw substitute Tim Krul save two penalties as the Netherlands won a shootout.
''Dutch football has always been close to my heart and in my view, national coaching is a key position for taking our soccer further,'' Van Gaal said in a statement released by the KNVB.
Van Gaal needs to get the team up to speed quickly after its disappointing European Championship showing. The Netherlands plays three World Cup qualifiers in early September, against Norway, Montenegro, and Turkey. It currently stands second in Group G, one point behind leader Turkey.
''There is not much time until the next qualifying matches, which are immediately crucial for participation in the World Cup,'' Van Gaal said. ''The focus is therefore immediately 100% on the players and the approach.'' He said he already has spoken to several players in the team. Another former national coach, Danny Blind, was appointed an assistant coach along with Henk Fraser.
''We were looking for a coach with exceptional qualities, who can also anticipate quickly and who is no stranger to national coaching,'' Hoogma said. ''With his experience and track record at the highest level, we believe that we have that in Louis van Gaal.''
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