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Van Basten named new Ajax coach

Marco van Basten
Van Basten had been linked with Chelsea and Barcelona

Holland coach Marco van Basten will become the new Ajax coach next season.

The former AC Milan striker will leave his post with the national team after this summer's European Championships to take over at his former club on 1 July.

Van Basten, three times a winner of the European player of the year award, had been linked with Chelsea and Barcelona.

But he has agreed a four-year deal with Ajax after good friend Johan Cruyff was charged with overseeing an overhaul of the ailing Amsterdam club.

Van Basten - a former Ajax player and youth coach - will be assisted by John van't Schip and Rob Witschge, who are also currently with the national side.

He will take over from Adrie Koster, who succeeded Henk ten Cate on a temporary basis after he joined Chelsea last October.

Ajax technical director Martin van Geel said: "We are very happy. They are three ambitious coaches with an Ajax background who all have had international soccer careers and have built up experience as trainers."

The Dutch club have not won their domestic championship since 2004 and trail rivals PSV by nine points in this season's Eredivisie.

Directors held an emergency meeting on Tuesday and announced shortly afterwards that a new technical and sporting structure would be put in place, headed by Cruyff.

Cruyff, who made his name with the club as a player and then as coach, said he would not be taking up a full-time post.

However, his return did heighten speculation that Van Basten would take over as coach after Euro 2008.

"Marco is like me," said Cruyff on Wednesday. "Victory is not enough, there also needs to be beautiful football. I find that wonderful."

see also
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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