The Most Famous

COACHES from Netherlands

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This page contains a list of the greatest Dutch Coaches. The pantheon dataset contains 329 Coaches, 19 of which were born in Netherlands. This makes Netherlands the birth place of the 6th most number of Coaches behind Germany and Spain.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Dutch Coaches of all time. This list of famous Dutch 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 Dutch Coaches.

Photo of Rinus Michels

1. Rinus Michels (1928 - 2005)

With an HPI of 77.66, Rinus Michels is the most famous Dutch Coach.  His biography has been translated into 42 different languages on wikipedia.

Marinus Jacobus Hendricus Michels OON (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 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 and in 2007 the greatest post-war football coach by The Times.

Photo of Ronald Koeman

2. Ronald Koeman (1963 - )

With an HPI of 75.60, Ronald Koeman is the 2nd most famous Dutch Coach.  His biography has been translated into 55 different languages.

Ronald Koeman (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈroːnɑlt ˈkumɑn] (listen); born 21 March 1963) is a Dutch professional football manager and former player, who is the current head coach 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. As a head coach, 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 Che 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. In August 2020, he was appointed as the manager of Barcelona following the departure of Quique Setién.

Photo of Louis van Gaal

3. Louis van Gaal (1951 - )

With an HPI of 74.94, Louis van Gaal is the 3rd most famous Dutch Coach.  His biography has been translated into 57 different languages.

Aloysius Paulus Maria "Louis" van Gaal OON (Dutch pronunciation: [luˈʋi vɑŋ ˈɣaːl] (listen); born 8 August 1951) is a Dutch former football manager and player. At club level, he served as manager of Ajax, Barcelona, AZ Alkmaar, Bayern Munich and Manchester United, as well as having two 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, and was hired by Bayern Munich in 2009. In Germany, he secured the Bundesliga, the DFB-Pokal, and reached the final of the Champions League, but returned to the Netherlands, 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 one FA Cup before being dismissed in 2016.

Photo of Marco van Basten

4. Marco van Basten (1964 - )

With an HPI of 74.71, Marco van Basten is the 4th most famous Dutch Coach.  His biography has been translated into 70 different languages.

Marcel "Marco" van Basten (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈmɑrkoː vɑn ˈbɑstə(n)] (listen); born 31 October 1964) is a Dutch football manager and former professional player, who played for Ajax and A.C. Milan, as well as the Netherlands national team, as a striker. He is 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 age 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 74.58, Frank Rijkaard is the 5th most famous Dutch Coach.  His biography has been translated into 61 different languages.

Franklin Edmundo Rijkaard (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈfrɑŋk ˈɛdmuːn.doː ˈrɛi̯kaːrt] (listen); born 30 September 1962) is a Dutch former footballer and former manager who played as a midfielder or defender. Rijkaard played for Ajax, Real Zaragoza and 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 defensive midfielders in footballing history and as one of the best players of his generation, in 2010 Rijkaard was described by British broadsheet The Daily Telegraph as having been "a stylish player of faultless pedigree".

Photo of Guus Hiddink

6. Guus Hiddink (1946 - )

With an HPI of 74.54, Guus Hiddink is the 6th most famous Dutch Coach.  His biography has been translated into 53 different languages.

Guus Hiddink (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈɣys ˈɦɪdɪŋk] (listen); born 8 November 1946) is a Dutch football manager and former professional player. Hiddink is currently the manager of the Curaçao national team. He enjoyed a long career playing as a midfielder in his native Netherlands, playing for sides such as PSV Eindhoven, De Graafschap and NEC Nijmegen, as well as some time spent playing in the United States. Since retiring from playing the game in 1982, Hiddink has gone on to enjoy an illustrious career in management, leading both clubs and countries from across the globe to achieve various titles and feats. In March 1987, Hiddink was appointed PSV manager after previously serving as assistant. Hiddink's PSV side won three consecutive Eredivisie titles, three consecutive KNVB Cups and the European Cup in the historic Treble-winning season of 1987–88. Hiddink spent one unsuccessful season at Istanbul side Fenerbahçe, then the following season was appointed manager of Valencia, where he stayed until November 1993. He returned to the Mestalla in March 1994, where he stayed for the rest of the 1993–94 season. Hiddink then took charge of the Dutch national team in January 1995, leading the Dutch to the quarter-finals of UEFA Euro 1996 and a fourth-place finish in the 1998 FIFA World Cup. He resigned as Netherlands manager after the World Cup, where he was then appointed manager of Spanish giants Real Madrid. His time in Madrid ended prematurely after he was sacked in February 1999 as Real were struggling in the league. He took over the reins at fellow La Liga side Real Betis in February 2000, but was sacked just three months later, following the season's conclusion. The lure of taking another team to a World Cup led to Hiddink taking the South Korea national team job in January 2001. South Korea were joint hosts of the 2002 World Cup, so expectations were high. He led South Korea to a historic 4th-placed finish and became a national hero there. Hiddink returned to the Netherlands to rejoin PSV after the conclusion of the World Cup. During his second spell, he won three more Eredivisie titles and another KNVB Cup, making him the most successful football manager in Dutch history. In July 2005, Hiddink was appointed manager of the Australian national team, serving as manager of both PSV and Australia simultaneously. He led Australia to qualify for their first World Cup in 32 years, while at the 2006 World Cup itself, he led the nation to the knockout stages, to date the only time in the Socceroos' history. Following the World Cup, he joined the Russian national team. Russia scraped through qualification at the expense of England, ultimately reaching the semi-finals of Euro 2008. In February 2009, while still managing Russia, Hiddink was appointed interim manager of English club Chelsea. He enjoyed success during his short stay at Stamford Bridge, winning the FA Cup, whilst restoring Chelsea to a respectable position in the league. Meanwhile, after Russia failed to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, Hiddink resigned as its manager. He returned to Turkey as Turkish national team manager, but his time in charge ended two years later after the nation failed to qualify for Euro 2012. In February 2012, Hiddink made a return to club management, taking charge of Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala. After a period of relative success, Hiddink left Anzhi in July 2013. Following the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Hiddink succeeded Louis van Gaal as Dutch national team manager, his second stint in charge of his home nation. His time at the helm ended, however, as the Netherlands were struggling to qualify for Euro 2016; he was subsequently relieved of his post and replaced by Danny Blind. Following this, nearly six years after his previous departure from Chelsea, Hiddink was again appointed interim manager of the London-based club in December 2015 following the sacking of José Mourinho.

Photo of Dick Advocaat

7. Dick Advocaat (1947 - )

With an HPI of 71.08, Dick Advocaat is the 7th most famous Dutch Coach.  His biography has been translated into 43 different languages.

Dirk Nicolaas Advocaat (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈdɪk ˌɑtfoːˈkaːt] (listen); born 27 September 1947) is a Dutch former football player and current head coach of Feyenoord. 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 68.88, Bert van Marwijk is the 8th most famous Dutch Coach.  His biography has been translated into 43 different languages.

Lambertus van Marwijk (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈbɛrt fɑˈmɑrʋɛi̯k]; born 19 May 1952) is a Dutch football manager who is 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 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 Netherlands lost all of their three matches at UEFA Euro 2012. Van Marwijk is the father-in-law of former Netherlands international Mark van Bommel. He coached the Australian national team at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.

Photo of Huub Stevens

9. Huub Stevens (1953 - )

With an HPI of 64.36, Huub Stevens is the 9th most famous Dutch 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 Co Adriaanse

10. Co Adriaanse (1947 - )

With an HPI of 63.34, Co Adriaanse is the 10th most famous Dutch Coach.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Jacobus "Co" Adriaanse (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈkoː ˈaːdriˌjaːnsə], born 21 July 1947) is a Dutch football manager and former player who played as a defender.

Pantheon has 19 people classified as coaches born between 1924 and 1972. Of these 19, 16 (84.21%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living coaches include Ronald Koeman, Louis van Gaal, and Marco van Basten. The most famous deceased coaches include Rinus Michels, Wiel Coerver, and Pim Verbeek. As of October 2020, 2 new coaches have been added to Pantheon including Wim Rijsbergen and Alfred Schreuder.

Living Coaches

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Deceased Coaches

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Newly Added Coaches (2020)

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Which Coaches were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 3 most globally memorable Coaches since 1700.