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Barca attack picking up steam

Barcelona about an hour ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jul 21, 2011

Feyenoord appoint Koeman

Feyenoord have confirmed Ronald Koeman as their new coach in succession to Mario Been.

Koeman, who also had spells at Ajax, PSV Eindhoven, Valencia and AZ Alkmaar, takes over after Feyenoord's first-team squad had "lost confidence'' in Been.

Koeman told his new club's official website: "It is my firm conviction that we will be capable of causing some surprises in the weeks to come this season. There is indeed plenty of quality and talent in this young squad. Along with the players and the entire club, I share the burning ambition to show that we are much more capable than we have shown in the recent past.''

The 48-year-old ended his professional playing career with Feyenoord in 1997 having previously played for FC Groningen, Ajax, PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona.

Been's decision to quit was hugely controversial, and the club's new technical director Martin van Geel said at the time that the responsibility for his exit lay "entirely with the players'' and not with the Rotterdam club's board.

Under Been last season, Feyenoord made an awful start before recovering to finish 10th in the Eredivisie. Former Schalke, Hamburg and PSV coach Huub Stevens had expressed his interest in the role but Feyenoord have opted for Koeman.

Van Geel told the club's official website: "The talks of the last few days have been very hectic. Significantly and beautifully we had almost no conversation about money, but mostly about the ambition of Feyenoord.''

Koeman will be assisted by Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Jean-Paul van Gastel, both of whom he played alongside during his spell as a Feyenoord player between 1995 and 1997. He worked on his coaching skills as part of the Holland and Barcelona back-room teams in the late 1990s before taking on his first head coach post with Vitesse Arnhem in 1999.

He impressed at Vitesse, leading the club to European qualification despite a limited budget and moved on to Ajax, where he won a domestic double in 2002 and another Eredivisie title in 2004 before being dismissed in early 2005 after losing too much ground to PSV in the title race.

He spent one largely unsuccessful season with Portuguese giants Benfica before returning to Holland to coach PSV, where he won the league title in 2007.

Later that year he moved on to Spain to succeed Quique Sanchez Flores at Valencia, where he won the Copa del Rey but was fired within days because of poor league form which culminated in a 5-1 thrashing at Athletic Bilbao.

His most recent posting began in May 2009 when he succeeded Louis van Gaal at AZ but survived only seven months in the job after a mediocre start to the season by the defending league champions.

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