“Oranye” (aka “orange”) and Ronald Koeman decided to give each other a second chance. The 59-year-old specialist signed a contract with the Royal Football Union until the summer of 2026. Koeman replaced Louis van Gaal as coach of the Netherlands national team, who left the team after the World Cup in Qatar, where the Oranje reached the quarterfinals and tragically lost in a penalty shootout to the eventual winner of the tournament – Argentina.
The Dutchman’s first entry into the national team happened in 2018, where he spent two fruitful years. Many noted that during his work with the “orange” Koeman built a really interesting team. He managed to bring the national team directly to the main competition of the Euro 2020 continent (after missing Euro 2016 and the 2018 World Cup). Also under his leadership, the national team reached the final of the League of Nations in the 2018/19 season. But then Euro 2020 was postponed, and Koeman was called to Barcelona. Ronald admitted that this has always been his main dream and left the team. And the “Oranje” had difficult times – the team was headed by Frank de Boer, a strong player in the past, but a weak coach, who showed excessive self-confidence and persistently called Quincy Promes “Quincy Mening”. Fortunately, his reign did not last long, and Louis van Gaal already took the team to the World Cup.
Now Koeman has another chance to return the Dutch national team to the “golden days” when Edgar Davids, Patrick Kluivert, Arjen Robben, Wesley Snyder and Philippe Cocu ran for the team. The minimum task is to prepare the “orange” for the selection for Euro 2024, where they will face France, Ireland, Greece and Gibraltar in qualifying. The maximum task is the 2026 World Cup.
The Polish team also has big plans. The invitation to mentors Fernando Santos is a serious strengthening.
– Santos won the Euro and the League of Nations, worked with great football players, world football stars, this is extremely valuable. I believe that the new coach will bring a lot of good things to the team and to the entire Polish football, – Cesar Kulesza, head of the Polish Football Union (PZPN), argued his choice. The 68-year-old Portuguese replaced Cheslav Mikhnevich, who reached the 1/8 finals with the national team, where he lost to the French. By the way, as they said on the sidelines, Mikhnevich was dismissed after not the weakest result for this team, largely due to a call from Robert Levadovsky to the head of PZPN. The eminent striker, on behalf of himself and the players of the national team, asked not to renew the contract with this specialist. By the way, Santos is more familiar than anyone with such whims of famous football players – during the World Cup in Qatar, he brought forward Cristiano Ronaldo out of the starting lineup, who then cut off the phones of the local football federation.
In the Polish national team, the Portuguese coach will, of course, be calmer. Although the task before him is serious – to try to bring the Poles to Euro 2024. But after eight years with the Portuguese national team, with whom he won Euro 2016 and the 2019 Nations League, as well as four years of cooperation with the Greek national team, Santos should have enough character and savvy to establish processes in the Polish national team.