Dutch legend Ruud van Nistelrooy has declared his excitement at the prospect of joining the Netherlands national team setup ahead of Oranje's UEFA Euro 2016 campaign.
Earlier this year, as per Adam Shergold of the Mail Online, there had been speculation on a potential playing return for the 37-year-old, who retired from football in 2012.
However, those rumours were killed when his involvement with the national team was confirmed in March, as per the Dutch FA (via Nick van Ruiven of Football Oranje), when Guus Hiddink was named as Louis van Gaal's successor.
Van Nistelrooy will join Hiddink's backroom staff when the 67-year-old takes over after this summer's FIFA World Cup. The former Manchester United and Real Madrid hero cannot wait to sink his teeth into the new job, although he did concede it wasn't something he was expecting.
The Dutchman told UEFA.com:
I wasn't really expecting anything like that, but when a job like that comes by, it's an honour. Working with Hiddink, with his experience, for me, starting out as a coach, it's fantastic. Spending two years with him, with the Dutch national team, trying to help players improve – it can't get any better.
Having made his debut in 1998 and remaining in the national team until 2011, Van Nistelrooy enjoyed a fruitful playing career for the Dutch, scoring 35 times in just 70 appearances, which leaves him as joint-fourth in his country's record books.
In addition to a successful international career, Van Nistelrooy's efforts at club level allowed him to become one of the most feared and well respected strikers in world football. The forward helped fire teams to league titles in Holland, England and Spain; his experience will undoubtedly be a huge benefit to the current crop of Oranje attackers.
The Netherlands will face Czech Republic, Turkey, Latvia, Iceland and Kazakhstan in Group A of the Euro 2016 qualifiers; Oranje will be fully expected to navigate their way to France with ease.
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