Koeman in 2014
|Full name||Ronald Koeman|
|Date of birth||21 March 1963|
|Place of birth||Zaandam, Netherlands|
|Height||1.81 m (5 ft 11 in)|
|Playing position(s)||Defender / Midfielder|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only|
Ronald Koeman (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈroːnɑlt ˈkumɑn] (listen); born 21 March 1963) is a Dutch professional football manager and former player, who is the current head coach of La Liga club FC Barcelona. He is the younger brother of his former international teammate Erwin Koeman and the son of former Dutch international Martin Koeman. Koeman was capable of playing both as a defender and as a midfielder; he frequently played as a sweeper, although he was equally known for his goalscoring, long–range shooting, and accuracy from free kicks and penalties.
Born in Zaandam, Koeman began his career at FC Groningen before transferring to the Netherlands' most successful club Ajax, where he won the national Eredivisie title in 1984–85. He then joined Ajax's rivals PSV, winning three consecutive Eredivisie titles (1986–87, 1987–88 and 1988–89) and the European Cup in 1988. Ronald Koeman is one of five European players to ever win a Treble with their club and a cup with their national team in the same year. The other four players are his teammates Hans van Breukelen, Berry van Aerle, Gerald Vanenburg and Wim Kieft. In 1989, Koeman moved to Barcelona and became part of Johan Cruyff's "Dream Team", helping the club win La Liga four years in a row between 1991 and 1994, and the European Cup, where he scored the winning goal of the final against Sampdoria in 1992.
At international level, Koeman was one of the stars of the Netherlands national team, alongside Marco van Basten, Ruud Gullit, Frank Rijkaard and Dennis Bergkamp. During his career with the Netherlands, Koeman won UEFA Euro 1988 and played at the UEFA Euro 1992, 1990 and 1994 FIFA World Cups, captaining the team at the latter.
As a head coach, Koeman has won three Eredivisie titles: twice with Ajax (2001–02 and 2003–04) and once with PSV (2006–07). He is the only individual to have both played for and managed the "Big Three" of Dutch football: Ajax, PSV and Feyenoord. Abroad, he had spells in Portugal with Benfica and Spain with Valencia, coaching Los Che to victory in the 2007–08 Copa del Rey, and managed Premier League clubs Southampton and Everton in the 2010s. He was the manager of the Netherlands national team between 2018 and 2020. In August 2020, he was appointed as the manager of Barcelona following the departure of Quique Setién.
Koeman started his professional career at FC Groningen, making his debut at the age of 17 years and 183 days in a 2–0 win over NEC in the Eredivisie. This made him the third-youngest player in the club's history, after Piet Wildschut and Bert de Voogt. Thirty-three goals from ninety appearances in his three seasons at the club saw the young defender called up by the Netherlands national team and earn a transfer to Eredivisie champions Ajax. After failing to defend their title in Koeman's first season at the club, the Amsterdam team regained the championship in 1984–85. The following season saw Johan Cruyff take over as Ajax head coach and, despite scoring 120 goals in 34 Eredivisie matches and winning the KNVB Cup, de Godenzonen could only finish second in the league behind rivals PSV.
In the summer of 1986, Koeman controversially transferred to Eindhoven to play for Hans Kraay's champions. Towards the end of the 1986–87 season, Kraay resigned and was replaced by Guus Hiddink, under the management of whom PSV overtook league leaders Ajax in the final weeks of the season to defend their league title. Koeman enjoyed further success with Hiddink and PSV in the following seasons, as the team also won the 1987–88 and 1988–89 Eredivisie titles and the club's first, and to date only, European Cup against Benfica in Stuttgart on 25 May 1988. PSV had also won the KNVB Cup in both 1988 and 1989, making their successes in the two years trebles and doubles respectively. In his three seasons at PSV, Koeman scored 51 goals in 98 league appearances, averaging more than one goal every two matches. During 1987–88, he recorded the highest scoring season of his club career, with 21 goals scored in the league.
In 1989, Koeman re-joined his former Ajax coach Johan Cruyff at Barcelona, where he became a member of the famous "Dream Team". During his first season at the club, Barcelona won the Copa del Rey, beating Real Madrid 2–0 in the final. Along with players such as Hristo Stoichkov, Romário, Pep Guardiola and Michael Laudrup, Koeman helped the club win La Liga four years in a row from 1991 to 1994. In 1992, he scored the only goal of the European Cup Final against Sampdoria at Wembley Stadium to make Barça European Champion for the first time in its history. With this, he became the first player to score in two consecutive finals of different European competitions, having scored Barcelona's consolation goal against Manchester United in the 1991 European Cup Winners' Cup Final.
Koeman was also known for his powerful right-footed free kicks and deadball ability where he scored many vital goals for the team. One of his best strikes in La Liga came in the memorable 5–0 win over Real Madrid in 1994, with his bending free kick making the scoreline 2–0. Koeman was joint-top scorer with eight goals in the 1993–94 UEFA Champions League, in which Barcelona were beaten in the final by Milan.
Return to the Netherlands and retirement
After six years and over 200 appearances at Barcelona, Koeman left Spain to return to the Netherlands in 1995. In joining Feyenoord, he became one of the few players to represent all of Dutch football's "Big Three". Koeman spent two seasons in Rotterdam, captaining Feyenoord to third- and second-place finishes in the Eredivisie respectively.
Koeman ended his career with 193 league goals from 533 matches (ahead of Daniel Passarella, who netted 182 goals in 556 matches) during his career, more than any other defender in the history of football.
In April 1983, Koeman debuted for the Netherlands national team in a 3–0 friendly loss to Sweden in Utrecht. This match also marked the first Oranje appearance for his elder brother Erwin. Ronald's first international goal came in September of the same year, in a 3–0 victory of Iceland at Groningen's Oosterpark Stadion.
With the Netherlands unable to qualify for UEFA Euro 1984 and the 1986 FIFA World Cup, Koeman's tournament debut came at Euro 1988 in West Germany, where Rinus Michels' team defeated the hosts at the semi-final stage, with Koeman scoring a crucial penalty to equalize and make it 1–1. After this match, Koeman provocatively pretended to wipe his backside with the shirt of Olaf Thon in front of the home supporters. In the final, the Netherlands defeated the Soviet Union 2–0 at Munich's Olympiastadion to win the nation's only major international trophy. This completed Koeman's extraordinary 1988 after winning the treble with PSV.[a] Both Koeman and his central defensive partner Frank Rijkaard were named in UEFA's Team of the Tournament.
Having retired as a player after his stint with Feyenoord, Koeman became a member of the Netherlands national football team coaching staff of Guus Hiddink during the 1998 World Cup along with Johan Neeskens and Frank Rijkaard. After the tournament, Koeman was appointed the assistant coach of Barcelona, and in 2000, he was handed his first managerial job as the head coach of Vitesse, where he led the team to a UEFA Cup spot on a relatively limited budget.
Koeman was appointed the manager of Ajax in 2001. Ajax's fortunes suffered a steady decline after Koeman got off to a successful start at the Amsterdam Arena, winning a domestic double in 2001–02. Despite regaining the title in 2003–04, Ajax had fallen eight points behind rivals PSV in the Eredivisie. This situation, coupled with Ajax being knocked out of the UEFA Cup by Auxerre, 3–2 on aggregate, led Koeman to resign the following day on 25 February 2005.
Koeman bounced back quickly from a disappointing end to his reign at Ajax in February 2005, taking up the vacant position at Portuguese champions Benfica following the departure of legendary Italian Giovanni Trapattoni. In Benfica, against whom he won the 1988 European Cup Final as a player with PSV, Koeman only won the Portuguese Super Cup; the team finished the Portuguese League in third place (behind rivals Porto and Sporting CP) and was knocked out of the Taça de Portugal in the quarter-finals (after losing to Vitória de Guimarães). This, along with an offer from PSV, sufficed for the manager to leave one year before the end of his contract. Under Koeman Benfica did reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League; eliminating Manchester United in the final game of the group stage and Liverpool in the first knockout stage, before losing to Barcelona, who ended up winning the trophy.
In the 2006–07 season, Koeman served as head coach of PSV, as successor to Guus Hiddink. PSV dominated the first season half, keeping competitors AZ and Ajax at a reasonable distance, and PSV seemed almost destined to become champions again. PSV, however, suffered in the second half of the season, also because of injuries of players Jefferson Farfán, Alex and Ibrahim Afellay, obtaining only 19 out 39 possible points. AZ and Ajax regained their momentum, making for a close finish, with all three teams tied at 72 points before the last competition day. AZ played struggling Excelsior in their final match, but did not manage to win. Ajax played at Willem II, but did not score enough goals; it was PSV eventually who triumphed, winning at home 5–1 against Vitesse Arnhem, and thereby becoming Eredivisie champions, one goal ahead of Ajax.
For the second consecutive season he guided a team to the quarter-finals of the Champions League, this time defeating another English club in the shape of Arsenal in the first knockout stage, before losing to Liverpool in the quarter-finals.
On 31 October 2007, Koeman agreed to be the new coach of Valencia after the sacking of Quique Sánchez Flores, starting on 5 November 2007. With Valencia, he won the 2007–08 Copa del Rey, a tournament he previously won as a player with Barcelona. This was Valencia's first Copa del Rey since 1999. The remainder of his tenure at Valencia would prove disappointing: the team would slump to 15th in the league, only two points above the relegation zone, as well as finishing bottom of their Champions League group. A 5–1 defeat by Athletic Bilbao would prove the final straw for Koeman's time with Valencia. He was sacked the following day, on 21 April 2008.
Koeman was appointed manager of AZ Alkmaar on 18 May 2009, after Louis van Gaal, who won the 2008–09 Eredivisie with AZ, joined Bayern Munich. On 5 December 2009, AZ announced that Koeman no longer was in charge of AZ, after losing 7 of the first 16 games in the Dutch competition.
On 21 July 2011, Koeman was appointed manager of Feyenoord, signing a one-year contract with the Dutch club as replacement for outgoing trainer Mario Been. Through this appointment, Koeman has notably become the first man ever to serve as both player and head coach at all teams of the so-called "traditional big three" of Dutch football – Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV. Moreover, he has completed this in the same order as player and as manager. At the beginning of 2012, it was announced that his contract was extended. In February 2014, Koeman announced that he would leave his position at Feyenoord at the end of the 2013–14 season to pursue other ambitions.
In his first six Premier League games in charge of the club, Koeman managed four wins, a draw and a defeat, propelling Southampton to second place in the league standings and resulting in Koeman being named Premier League Manager of the Month for September. In January 2015, Southampton won all three of their matches, including a first win at Manchester United since 1988, and Koeman was again named Manager of the Month. He led Southampton to a seventh-place finish at the end of the season.
Koeman won his third Premier League Manager of the Month for January 2016, on the way to Southampton's highest ever Premier League finish, sixth place, highest ever Premier League points total, 63, and qualification for the group stage of the UEFA Europa League.
On 14 June 2016, Koeman was confirmed as manager of Everton, signing a three-year contract. His brother was again hired as his assistant. In his first season, Koeman led Everton to qualification for the Europa League.
Prior to the 2017–18 season, Koeman was given the largest budget in Everton's history to spend on new players. An estimated £150 million was spent on new players, but Koeman admitted that he had not bought a centre forward to replace Romelu Lukaku, the previous season's squad top scorer who had been sold to Manchester United. Koeman was sacked by the club on 23 October 2017, after his side fell into the relegation zone, following a 5–2 home defeat against Arsenal the previous day. Koeman later stated his belief that the failure to sign Olivier Giroud in the summer transfer window contributed to his sacking.
On 6 February 2018, Koeman was appointed manager of the Netherlands national football team on a four-and-half-year contract up to and including the 2022 FIFA World Cup. He replaced Dick Advocaat who resigned after failing to guide the Netherlands to the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
On 19 August 2020, Koeman left the national team to become manager of FC Barcelona. Under his management, Netherlands qualified for a final tournament, UEFA EURO 2021, for the first time since 2014 after missing out on the UEFA EURO 2016 and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
On 19 August 2020, Koeman was announced as the new manager of Barcelona on a two-year contract until 30 June 2022. He took over after Quique Setién had been dismissed from the position two days earlier, following an 8–2 Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich. In his first competitive game in charge, Barcelona beat Villarreal 4–0 at the Camp Nou in La Liga. On 17 October, Koeman suffered his first loss as Barcelona manager after a 1–0 away defeat against Getafe. On 24th October, he lost the first El Clasico of the season as the manager of Barcelona, to arch rivals Real Madrid.
Style of play
A composed player on the ball, Koeman was capable of being deployed both as a defender and as a midfielder, and he frequently played as a sweeper, due to his vision and his ability on the ball. Regarded as one of the best and most prolific attacking central defenders of all time, due to his eye for goal, Koeman was renowned for his long-range passing, as well as his shooting accuracy and power from distance, especially on free kicks; is the top scoring defender in world football, and Barcelona's top scoring defender. A versatile set piece specialist, Koeman was nicknamed the King of free kicks, and was capable of striking the ball with power from long range free kicks, or curling shots on goal from close range; he was also an accurate penalty kick taker. Regarding his unique run-up and approach to taking free kicks and penalties, Rob Smyth of The Guardian commented in 2009: "We tend to associate Koeman with that particular type of free-kick, where he would lace the ball in a manner that was paradoxically sledgehammer rather than silk, yet if anything he was more adept at the seductive, shorter-range curler. As with his penalties, when he would charge towards the ball like a man with murder in mind only to tap it gently into the net, part of the skill was in the deception. With Koeman, there was more than one way to skin a defensive wall; as all Englishmen know well, he could flippin' flip one as well."
Koeman is the top scoring defender in world football, and Barcelona's top scoring defender, with 90 goals in all competitions. An accurate free kick and penalty kick taker, Koeman was nicknamed the King of free kicks throughout his playing career, and is Barcelona's second-highest goalscorer from free kicks, behind only Lionel Messi, with 26 goals from set pieces in all competitions; he is also Barcelona's second-highest scorer from penalties in La Liga, behind Messi once again, with 46 goals from spot kicks, and the highest scoring defender in La Liga from penalties. With 67 goals, he is the second most prolific defender in La Liga history, behind Sergio Ramos. He currently holds the record for 25 consecutive successful penalty conversions in La Liga.
|Netherlands||League||KNVB Cup||Super Cup||Europe||Other[n 1]||Total|
|Spain||League||Copa del Rey||Supercopa||Europe||Other[n 2]||Total|
|Netherlands||League||KNVB Cup||Super Cup||Europe||Other||Total|
|Netherlands national team|
|Koeman – goals for Netherlands|
|1||7 September 1983||Oosterpark Stadion, Groningen, Netherlands||Iceland||1–0||3–0||Euro 1984 qualifier|
|2||9 December 1987||Stadion De Meer, Amsterdam, Netherlands||Cyprus||3–0||4–0||Euro 1988 qualifier|
|3||16 December 1987||Diagoras Stadium, Rhodes, Greece||Greece||0–1||0–3||Euro 1988 qualifier|
|4||21 June 1988||Volksparkstadion, Hamburg, West Germany||West Germany||1–1||1–2||UEFA Euro 1988|
|5||22 March 1989||Philips Stadion, Eindhoven, Netherlands||Soviet Union||2–0||2–0||Friendly|
|6||6 September 1989||Olympisch Stadion, Amsterdam, Netherlands||Denmark||1–0||2–2||Friendly|
|7||15 November 1989||De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands||Finland||3–0||3–0||World Cup 1990 qual.|
|8||28 March 1990||Republican Stadium, Kiev, Ukraine||Soviet Union||1–1||2–1||Friendly|
|9||30 May 1990||Praterstadion, Vienna, Austria||Austria||3–1||3–2||Friendly|
|10||24 June 1990||San Siro, Milan, Italy||West Germany||2–1||2–1||1990 FIFA World Cup|
|11||22 September 1993||Stadio Renato Dall'Ara, Bologna, Italy||San Marino||0–7||0–7||1994 World Cup qual.|
|12||13 October 1993||De Kuip, Rotterdam, Netherlands||England||1–0||2–0||1994 World Cup qual.|
|13||19 January 1994||Stade Olympique El Menzah, Tunis, Tunisia||Tunisia||2–2||2–2||Friendly|
|14||1 June 1994||Philips Stadion, Eindhoven, Netherlands||Hungary||3–1||7–1||Friendly|
|Vitesse||1 January 2000||2 December 2001||79||40||23||16||132||77||+55||50.63|
|Ajax||3 December 2001||25 February 2005||151||94||30||27||322||147||+175||62.25|
|Benfica||8 June 2005||8 May 2006||49||27||11||11||64||38||+26||55.10|
|PSV||1 July 2006||31 October 2007||63||38||11||14||118||54||+64||60.32|
|Valencia||5 November 2007||21 April 2008||34||11||9||14||38||47||−9||32.35|
|AZ||18 May 2009||5 December 2009||24||11||4||9||44||30||+14||45.83|
|Feyenoord||21 July 2011||31 May 2014||118||67||23||28||237||137||+100||56.78|
|Southampton||16 June 2014||14 June 2016||91||44||17||30||140||93||+47||48.35|
|Everton||14 June 2016||23 October 2017||58||24||14||20||85||74||+11||41.38|
|Netherlands||6 February 2018||18 August 2020||20||11||5||4||43||18||+25||55.00|
|Barcelona||19 August 2020||Present||7||4||1||2||16||6||+10||57.14|
- La Liga: 1990–91, 1991–92, 1992–93, 1993–94
- Copa del Rey: 1989–90
- Supercopa de España: 1991, 1992, 1994
- European Cup: 1991–92
- European Super Cup: 1992
- Dutch Footballer of the Year: 1987, 1988
- UEFA European Championship Team of the Tournament: 1988
- UEFA Champions League top scorer: 1993–94
- UEFA Golden Jubilee Poll: No. 26
- Eredivisie: 2006–07
- Copa del Rey: 2007–08
- Johan Cruyff Shield: 2009
- Rinus Michels Award: 2011–12
- Premier League Manager of the Month: September 2014, January 2015, January 2016
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...a summer of spending the biggest transfer budget in Everton's history, has quickly evaporated during this disastrous campaign.
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However, his true undoing was the club's failure to fill the Romelu Lukaku-shaped hole left by the Belgium international's summer departure to Manchester United. Speaking on the lack of a Lukaku successor back in September, Koeman wasn't shy in admitting Everton had ended the transfer window without completing their business – despite the historic outlay.
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