* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).
Rudolf ("Ruud" or "Rudi") Jozef Krol (born 24 March 1949 in Amsterdam) is a retired Dutch footballer who was capped 83 times for his native country. Most of his career he played for his home town club, Ajax, and he became a coach after retirement. One of the best defenders of his generation, Krol mainly played as a sweeper or left-back, however he could play anywhere across the back four or as a defensive midfielder.
Internationally, Krol made his debut for the Netherlands in 1969 against England, and would go on to earn 83 caps, retiring from international football in 1983. He was a crucial component in the Total Football side of the 1970s. A versatile defender, he could play in any position along the back four or midfield. In the 1974 FIFA World Cup, in which the Netherlands reached the final, Krol primarily played at left-back. He created Cruijff's goal against Brazil and scored a 25-yard screamer against Argentina. They fell at the final hurdle, losing 2–1 to West Germany.
By the time the 1978 FIFA World Cup came about, Krol had switched to playing as a sweeper and had earned the captain's armband after the retirement of Cruijff. Krol had a fine tournament featuring in the FIFA All Star Team. He was, however, unable to prevent the Netherlands from falling to their second Final defeat, this time losing 3–1 to Argentina. In 1979, Krol would finish third in the European Footballer of the Year competition behind the winner Kevin Keegan and the second placed Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.
Krol played for the Netherlands as captain at the 1980 European Championship, but they disappointed, being knocked out in the first round by West Germany and Czechoslovakia. They also failed to qualify for the 1982 FIFA World Cup. He played for part of the qualifying for Euro 84, and played his last international in 1983, in a 1–0 European Championship qualifying defeat against Spain.
Krol attained the Dutch caps record on 2 May 1979, when he equaled the total of Puck van Heel. He would become the outright owner of the title, most capped Dutch player, in his next game, his 65th cap, on 22 May 1979 (see 1979 in association football). The game was a FIFA Jubilee Match against Argentina which Argentina won on penalties 8–7. He would remain the most capped Dutch player until 29 June 2000, when the then Dutch coach Frank Rijkaard brought on Aron Winter as a substitute during a Euro 2000 game against Italy.
In his managerial career, he has been head coach of Egypt, and has been assistant manager of the Netherlands (under Frank Rijkaard and Louis van Gaal) and Ajax (under Ronald Koeman). He became interim manager of Ajax after the resignation of Koeman. He was manager of AC Ajaccio in France Ligue 2 from 2006 to 2007. He returned as manager of Egyptian giants Zamalek in August 2007. He had previously managed them from 1994 to 1999, winning the Egyptian Cup in 1999, the African Cup of Champions Clubs in 1996 and the Afro-Asian Club Championship 1997, the last two being the biggest club level prizes available to CAF clubs. Krol's return to Zamalek was meant to be a stabilizing presence, the club having gone through several managers in the preceding two seasons. His stay however would be a short one. He ended his sole season by winning one Egyptian Cup with Zamalek, within one season he would leave and sign a three year contract with the South African giants Orlando Pirates.
In the three years with the Orlando Pirates he won two South African cups (and a finalist once) and won the national league, all in his last year in charge of the team. Those cups include MTN8 and Nedbank Cup. Despite that success his contract was not renewed.
He won the Tunisian championship with CS Sfaxien, one of the best teams in Africa, in 2012–2013, after a fierce battle with the other 3 of the Tunisian big 4. After that success, he was contacted to lead the Tunisian national team in the play off qualifying to the 2014 world cup against Cameroon. He accepted that role and simultaneously became manager of CS Sfaxien and Tunisia in September 2013. He won the 2013 CAF Confederation Cup with Sfaxien. He resigned from his duties as Sfaxien coach after the second leg of the final against TP Mazembe in 30 November 2013. He quit as the national team interim coach following Tunisia's loss in the World Cup play-off.
In January 2014, he was appointed new Head Coach of Tunisian side Espérance.