Dick Advocaat and passion for national teams: set to coach eighth soon

Renowned Dutch football figure, Dick Advocaat, shows no signs of stepping down despite being 76. Instead, he may venture into a new stint as the coach of a national team — the smallest of the seven he has previously handled.

Advocaat has frequently found himself in the role of Coach for the Netherlands. He was part of the 1994 World Cup when his overly defensive tactics were caught out by Bebeto and Romario. Ten years later, he faced death threats when he failed to lead the Oranje to reclaim the Europe Cup, even in one of the most civilised countries. His third stint in 2017 concluded with the Netherlands’ non-participation in the Russian World Cup and he stepped back to make way for a new generation.

Other teams under his leadership have included the United Arab Emirates, South Korea in the 2006 World Cup, and Belgium – a brief stay that ended on sour terms. He was quoted criticising the national federation when he left, saying, “It was a tomb with a refrigerator, a photocopier and boxes everywhere.” He led Russia in the 2012 Europe Cup due to his extensive knowledge of its football, having had a successful run with Zenit. However, that expedition didn’t turn out as hoped and his refusal to condemn his fans’ rioting caused significant controversy.

Thereafter, he had a short stint with Serbia in the past decade. His recent coaching stint with Iraq’s national team was anything but impressive, with not a single win in the six matches played to qualify for Qatar 2022.

Currently, he is speculated to be in talks with Curaçao’s football federation. Their current Coach, Dean Gorré, has ended his interim term but will continue to work with the women’s national team and youth sector. The intention is to finalise a contract with Advocaat in January.

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