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Page last updated at 13:08 GMT, Wednesday, 6 May 2009 14:08 UK

Van Basten resigns as Ajax coach

Van Basten starred as a player at Euro 88

Marco van Basten has stepped down as coach of Dutch side Ajax after they failed to qualify for next season's Champions League.

The former Netherlands striker, 44, only took over in July 2008 after four years in charge of the national side.

A club statement read: "The main reason for resigning is that he didn't meet his goals and doesn't feel he is capable of improving next season."

Assistant coach John van't Schip will take over until the end of the season.

Van Basten won three Dutch league titles, three Dutch Cups and the Uefa Cup Winners' Cup during his time as a player with Ajax in the mid 1980s.


But he has been unable to match the highs he reached in his playing career in the season he has spent as coach at the Amsterdam side.

Ajax lost 4-0 at Sparta Rotterdam at the weekend to end their hopes of qualifying for next season's Champions League with one game still to play, prompting Van Basten to say on his own website: "Of course I ask myself all kinds of questions after the defeat.

"How in God's name is it possible that we cannot defeat Sparta when we have to?

"I had much faith in a good result, but again the team seemed scared. We did not succeed in getting the team ready. That is very annoying and surprising."

Ajax also suffered a humiliating 6-2 defeat at PSV Eindhoven three weeks ago.

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see also
Van Basten named new Ajax coach
22 Feb 08 |  Football
Van Basten lands Dutch job
29 Jul 04 |  Internationals
Chelsea deny move for Van Basten
26 Sep 07 |  Chelsea
Marco's back
11 Aug 03 |  World Football

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