Dutch Legend Marco Van Basten to Become AZ Manager

Liam NewmanContributor IApril 19, 2014

ZWOLLE, NETHERLANDS - DECEMBER 13:  Heerenveen Manager / Head Coach, Marco van Basten looks on prior to the Eredivisie match between PEC Zwolle and SC Heerenveen held at IJsseldelta Stadion on December 13, 2013 in Zwolle, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Eredivisie club Alkmaar Zaanstreek have announced that Marco van Basten will replace current manager Dick Advocaat this summer.

According to the Daily Mail’s Graeme Yorke, the club confirmed the news via its official website on Friday. A statement read: "AZ and Marco van Basten have reached a verbal agreement on a contract as head coach until the summer of 2016."

The 49-year-old, who is regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, will be a much-welcomed arrival to the AFAS Stadion. He has previously managed both Ajax and the Netherlands national side, before spending three years away from management. Van Basten returned to football in 2012, joining current club Heerenveen.

However, as per Goal.com, "The ex-Ajax boss had already confirmed his intention to leave Heerenveen at the end of the season and will move to the AFAS Stadion once formalities have been completed."

It is believed that the decision to leave the Abe Lenstra Stadion was primarily down to a lack of funds available, which is ultimately preventing the Frisian club from moving forward.

Current AZ boss Dick Advocaat—who only joined on a temporary basis once the season had already started—had, as reported by Football Oranje’s Michael Bell, already declared his desire not to renew his contract at the end of the season and is set to seek a challenge abroad.

ALKMAAR, NETHERLANDS - FEBRUARY 27:  AZ Manager, Dick Advocaat looks on during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match between AZ Alkmaar and FC Slovan Liberec at the AZ Stadium on February 27, 2014 in Alkmaar, Netherlands.  (Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

The 66-year-old had led the Alkmaar club to the Europa League quarter-final, as well as the KNVB semi-final.

AZ are currently seventh in the Eredivisie standings, five points below Heerenveen, and are set to qualify for the Europa League play-off tournament. A potential meeting between the two would serve up an immensely difficult fixture for Van Basten, and he'll presumably be hoping to avoid that eventuality at all costs.

Alkmaar's final two league matches are against Den Haag and Feyenoord.


Is Van Basten the right man for the job? Post your views below.