The Most Famous

COACHES from Netherlands

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This page contains a list of the greatest Coaches. The pantheon dataset contains 328 Coaches, 19 of which were born in Netherlands. This makes Netherlands the birth place of the 5th most number of Coaches behind Brazil and Germany.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Coaches of all time. This list of famous Coaches is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Coaches.

Photo of Rinus Michels

1. Rinus Michels (1928 - 2005)

With an HPI of 69.05, Rinus Michels is the most famous Coach.  His biography has been translated into 43 different languages on wikipedia.

Marinus Jacobus Hendricus Michels (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈmɪxəls]; 9 February 1928 – 3 March 2005) was a Dutch football player and coach. He played his entire career for AFC Ajax, which he later managed, and played for and later managed the Netherlands national team. He is regarded as one of the greatest managers of all-time. Michels became most notable for his coaching achievements; he won the European Cup with Ajax and the Spanish league with Barcelona, and had four tenures as coach of the Netherlands national team, who he led to reach the final of the 1974 FIFA World Cup and to win the 1988 UEFA European Championship.He is credited with the invention of a major football playing style and set of tactics known as "Total Football" in the 1970s. He was named Coach of the Century by FIFA in 1999, in 2007 the greatest post-war football coach by The Times and in 2019 the greatest coach in the history of football by France Football.

Photo of Guus Hiddink

2. Guus Hiddink (1946 - )

With an HPI of 68.70, Guus Hiddink is the 2nd most famous Coach.  His biography has been translated into 56 different languages.

Guus Hiddink (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɣys ˈɦɪdɪŋk] (listen); born 8 November 1946) is a Dutch former football manager and professional player. He enjoyed a long career playing as a midfielder in his native Netherlands. Retired as player in 1982, Hiddink went into management, leading both clubs and countries from across the globe to achieve various titles and feats. With PSV Eindhoven he won the European Champions Cup, the predecessor of the UEFA Champions League.

Photo of Louis van Gaal

3. Louis van Gaal (1951 - )

With an HPI of 68.33, Louis van Gaal is the 3rd most famous Coach.  His biography has been translated into 59 different languages.

Aloysius Paulus Maria "Louis" van Gaal (Dutch pronunciation: [luˈʋi vɑŋ ˈɣaːl] (listen); born 8 August 1951) is a Dutch football manager and former player who is the current head coach of the Netherlands national team. At club level, he served as manager of Ajax, Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar, Bayern Munich, and Manchester United, as well as having three spells in charge of the Netherlands national team. Van Gaal is one of the most decorated managers in world football, having won 20 major honours in his managerial career. He is sometimes nicknamed the "Iron Tulip".Before his career as a coach, Van Gaal played as a midfielder for Royal Antwerp, Telstar, Sparta Rotterdam, Ajax and AZ. He is also a fully qualified physical education teacher, and worked at high schools during his career as a semi-professional footballer. After a brief spell as an assistant coach at AZ, Van Gaal served as the assistant under Leo Beenhakker at Ajax and eventually took over as head coach in 1991. Under his lead, the club won three Eredivisie titles, the UEFA Cup, and the UEFA Champions League. He moved to Barcelona in 1997 and won two league titles and one Copa del Rey, but left after disagreements with the club's hierarchy. Van Gaal was then appointed at the Netherlands, but failed to qualify for the 2002 FIFA World Cup. This preceded another brief spell at Barcelona, before he returned to AZ, where he won an Eredivisie title, the club's second ever in its history. He moved to Bayern Munich in 2009, and in Germany won the Bundesliga, the DFB-Pokal, and reached the final of the UEFA Champions League, before returning to manage the Netherlands for a second time, where he led the nation to a third-place finish at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. He was then hired at Manchester United later that summer, where he won the FA Cup, before being dismissed in 2016. Despite previously announcing his retirement due to family reasons in 2019, Van Gaal returned to management in August 2021 when he was appointed as head coach of the Netherlands for a third time.

Photo of Marco van Basten

4. Marco van Basten (1964 - )

With an HPI of 67.78, Marco van Basten is the 4th most famous Coach.  His biography has been translated into 73 different languages.

Marcel "Marco" van Basten (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈmɑrkoː vɑn ˈbɑstə(n)] (listen); born 31 October 1964) is a Dutch football manager and retired professional player, who played for Ajax and AC Milan, as well as the Netherlands national team, as a striker. Widely regarded as one of the greatest players in the history of the sport, he scored 300 goals in a high-profile career, but played his last match in 1993, at the age of 28, due to an injury which forced his retirement two years later. He was later the head coach of Ajax and the Netherlands national team. Known for his close ball control, attacking intelligence, impeccable headers, and spectacular strikes and volleys, Van Basten was named FIFA World Player of the Year in 1992 and won the Ballon d'Or three times, in 1988, 1989 and 1992. At club level, he won three Eredivisie titles and the Cup Winners' Cup with Ajax, and four Serie A titles and three European Cups with Milan. With the Netherlands, Van Basten won UEFA Euro 1988 where he earned the Golden Boot, scoring five goals, including a memorable volley in the final against the Soviet Union.In 1998, Van Basten was ranked sixth in the FIFA Player of the Century internet poll, tenth in the European player of the Century election held by the IFFHS and 12th in the IFFHS' World Player of the Century election. He was also voted eighth in a poll organised by the French magazine France Football, consulting their former Ballon d'Or winners to elect the Football Player of the Century. In 2004, he was named by Pelé in the FIFA 100 list of the world's greatest living players. In 2004, a poll for the 100 greatest Dutch people was held in the Netherlands: Van Basten ranked number 25, the second highest for a football player, behind Johan Cruyff. In 2007, Sky Sports ranked Van Basten first on its list of great athletes who had their careers cut short.

Photo of Frank Rijkaard

5. Frank Rijkaard (1962 - )

With an HPI of 67.27, Frank Rijkaard is the 5th most famous Coach.  His biography has been translated into 62 different languages.

Franklin Edmundo Rijkaard (Dutch pronunciation: [frɑŋk ˈɛtmundoː ˈrɛikaːrt] (listen); born 30 September 1962) is a Dutch former footballer and former manager who played as a forward. Rijkaard played for Ajax, Real Zaragoza and AC Milan and represented the Netherlands national team side 73 times, scoring 10 goals. In his managerial career, he was at the helm of the Netherlands national team, Sparta Rotterdam, Barcelona, Galatasaray and the Saudi Arabia national team. Regarded as one of the best midfielders in footballing history, Rijkaard was described by British broadsheet The Daily Telegraph as having been "a stylish player of faultless pedigree".

Photo of Ronald Koeman

6. Ronald Koeman (1963 - )

With an HPI of 67.06, Ronald Koeman is the 6th most famous Coach.  His biography has been translated into 59 different languages.

Ronald Koeman (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈroːnɑlt ˈkumɑn] (listen); born 21 March 1963) is a Dutch professional football manager and former player, who was most recently the manager of La Liga club Barcelona. He is the younger brother of his former international teammate Erwin Koeman and the son of former Dutch international Martin Koeman. Koeman was capable of playing both as a defender and as a midfielder; he frequently played as a sweeper, although he was equally known for his goalscoring, long–range shooting, and accuracy from free kicks and penalties. Born in Zaandam, Koeman began his career at Groningen before transferring to the Netherlands' most successful club Ajax in 1983, where he won the national Eredivisie title in 1984–85. He then joined Ajax's rivals PSV Eindhoven in 1986, winning three consecutive Eredivisie titles (1986–87, 1987–88 and 1988–89) and the European Cup in 1988. Ronald Koeman is one of five European players to ever win a treble with their club and a cup with their national team in the same year. The other four players are his teammates Hans van Breukelen, Berry van Aerle, Gerald Vanenburg and Wim Kieft. In 1989, Koeman moved to Barcelona and became part of Johan Cruyff's "Dream Team", helping the club win La Liga four years in a row between 1991 and 1994, and the 1991–92 European Cup, where he scored the winning goal of the final against Sampdoria. At international level, Koeman was one of the stars of the Netherlands national team, alongside Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Dennis Bergkamp. During his career with the Netherlands, Koeman won UEFA Euro 1988 and played at the UEFA Euro 1992, 1990 and 1994 FIFA World Cups, captaining the team at the latter. In his managerial career, Koeman has won three Eredivisie titles: twice with Ajax (2001–02 and 2003–04) and once with PSV Eindhoven (2006–07). He is the only individual to have both played for and managed the "Big Three" of Dutch football: Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord. Abroad, he had spells in Portugal with Benfica and Spain with Valencia, coaching Los Ché to victory in the 2007–08 Copa del Rey, and managed Premier League clubs Southampton and Everton in the 2010s. He was the manager of the Netherlands national team between 2018 and 2020, finishing runners-up in the 2019 UEFA Nations League. In August 2020, he was appointed manager of Barcelona, with whom he won the 2020–21 Copa del Rey, but was sacked in October 2021, following a poor start to the new season.

Photo of Dick Advocaat

7. Dick Advocaat (1947 - )

With an HPI of 66.50, Dick Advocaat is the 7th most famous Coach.  His biography has been translated into 45 different languages.

Dirk Nicolaas Advocaat (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈdɪk ˌɑtfoːˈkaːt] (listen); born 27 September 1947) is a Dutch former football player and coach. Advocaat was successful as a football player and as a coach, including three stints with the Netherlands national team. He has coached a number of clubs in the Netherlands and abroad (including the Russian club Zenit Saint Petersburg, with which he won the 2008 UEFA Cup Final), as well as the national teams of a number of countries, including South Korea, Belgium and Russia. His nickname is "The Little General", a reference to his mentor Rinus Michels.

Photo of Bert van Marwijk

8. Bert van Marwijk (1952 - )

With an HPI of 61.13, Bert van Marwijk is the 8th most famous Coach.  His biography has been translated into 43 different languages.

Lambertus "Bert" van Marwijk (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈbɛrt fɑˈmɑrʋɛi̯k]; born 19 May 1952) is a Dutch football manager who was recently the head coach of the United Arab Emirates national team. As a footballer, he played for the Go Ahead Eagles, AZ, MVV and Fortuna Sittard amongst other clubs and also represented the Netherlands once. In 1982, van Marwijk began his transition into a manager, retiring as a player in 1988 and becoming a full-time manager. In 2002, he won the UEFA Cup with Feyenoord. Van Marwijk managed the Netherlands from 2008 until June 2012 and guided the country to the 2010 FIFA World Cup final, which was lost 1–0 in extra-time to Spain. He left this position after the losing all three matches at UEFA Euro 2012. He qualified Saudi Arabia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where he coached Australia.

Photo of Huub Stevens

9. Huub Stevens (1953 - )

With an HPI of 55.03, Huub Stevens is the 9th most famous Coach.  His biography has been translated into 28 different languages.

Hubertus Jozef Margaretha "Huub" Stevens (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɦyp ˈsteː.və(n)s]; born 29 November 1953) is a Dutch former professional football manager and player.

Photo of Henk ten Cate

10. Henk ten Cate (1954 - )

With an HPI of 52.62, Henk ten Cate is the 10th most famous Coach.  His biography has been translated into 26 different languages.

Hendrik Willem ten Cate (born 9 December 1954) is a Dutch football manager and former professional player. In the 2005–06 season, he was assistant to Frank Rijkaard at Barcelona when the team won the UEFA Champions League and La Liga titles. He then served as manager of Ajax until October 2007 and won three trophies for the Dutch club. Ten Cate joined Chelsea on 11 October 2007 as assistant manager but stepped down after the defeat of the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final on 29 May 2008 just 5 days after the departure of manager Avram Grant.

Pantheon has 21 people classified as coaches born between 1924 and 1972. Of these 21, 17 (80.95%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living coaches include Guus Hiddink, Louis van Gaal, and Marco van Basten. The most famous deceased coaches include Rinus Michels, Pim Verbeek, and Wiel Coerver. As of April 2022, 2 new coaches have been added to Pantheon including Jan Zwartkruis and Wim Koevermans.

Living Coaches

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Deceased Coaches

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Newly Added Coaches (2022)

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Which Coaches were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 4 most globally memorable Coaches since 1700.