Van Nistelrooij steps down from Dutch national football

Former Dutch football star Ruud van Nistelrooij will step down from his assistant coaching role with the Netherlands men’s national football team. The 39-year-old is leaving Orange to take on training the under-17, under-19 and Youth squad at PSV Eindhoven.

He served as the assistant to Guus Hiddink during the 2014 World Cup, and then to Hiddink and Danny Blind in the failed attempt to get into the 2016 Euro. With the latter he worked alongside Marco van Basten.

Van Nistelrooij will leave Orange in June when his contract with Dutch football association KNVB ends. This is before the qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup will begin.

“I have, over the past two years, learned a lot,” he said in a statement. “In my time as an Orange-International I had of course seen the work done by the technical staff from close up, but I had never realized how much preparation, time, and what was really involved. It is a valuable experience for my development as a coach,” he added.

“I am grateful that the KNVB have awarded me this opportunity.”

“I am sorry that Ruud is leaving, but I understand,” said Blind. “I think he has the talent to become a good coach, and with him every success with PSV.”

Van Nistelrooij himself played 70 times for the Dutch national team, scoring 35 times. He took the field in nearly 450 matches during his 20 years with professional clubs, putting the ball in the net 249 times. This included three full seasons at PSV from 1998-20014, where scored an incredible 62 times in 67 matches.