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Advocaat 'so much better' than legendary trio

Saturday 26th January 2002

The Dutch FA (KNVB) approached Frank Rijkaard, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten about becoming Holland coach before begging **** Advocaat to take the post. "We had to go down on our knees and beg for Advocaat because we knew he would be so much better than the others," said director Henk Kessler.

Rangers director of football Advocaat, who led Holland to the quarter-finals of the 1994 World Cup, was confirmed as Louis van Gaal's successor on a part-time basis on Friday. He had previously rejected two previous approaches for the post.

And on Saturday, KNVB director Kessler revealed that Advocaat got the job on Rangers chairman David Murray's terms because the federation wanted him so much.

Kessler said: "We flew to Edinburgh last week to meet with Murray as we knew it was all down to him. We had to go down on our knees and beg for Advocaat because we knew he would be so much better than the other candidates.

"We had also spoken to Frank Rijkaard, Johan Cruyff and Marco van Basten but we told them **** was our first choice and we would do everything we could to get him.

"We flew to Edinburgh and Murray finally gave in but only because we gave him everything he asked for. For the rest of the season we will only get **** for four days at the time we have an international friendly. Then, from next season, we have agreed with Murray that **** will work a maximum of 20 hours every week for us."

Advocaat insisted he would stay loyal to Rangers. He told the Daily Record: "There is no chance of me leaving Rangers this summer – 100 per cent not. I can promise I will stay as director of football for at least 18 months and maybe even longer.

"But whatever happens in the future, I will always be involved with Rangers because it is my club."

Van Basten was linked with the Holland post after admitting last year that the Dutch football federation had agreed to fast-track his coaching examinations.

Rijkaard coached Holland to the Euro 2000 semi-finals in his first job in management, while Cruyff ruled himself out of the running despite being one of Van Gaal's fiercest critics.

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Well, I think the KNVB wanted to end the eternal battle between Cruijff&Co and VG&Co. It did Dutch football more harm than good. Now we have coaches who aren't in one of those camps, so let's hope things will get better now, and people around Oranje will focus on FOOTBALL.
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