Ronald Koeman (born 21 March 1963 in Zaandam) is a former Dutch football defender and current manager. He is the brother of former Feyenoord coach Erwin Koeman and the son of former Dutch international Martin Koeman. He was known for his rocket free kicks and long passing.
Besides being a defender at the centreback position, Koeman was also known for his powerful right-footed freekicks and deadball ability where he scored many vital goals for the team, and it was from a free-kick that he scored FC Barcelona's winning goal in the 1992 European Cup final.He represented his nation in the World Cup 1990 and 1994 and picked up a total of 78 caps for Holland, scoring 14 goals. In 1988, after the semi-final against Germany (2:1) in Hamburg, he, in front of German supporters, provocatively pretended to wipe his backside with the shirt of Olaf Thon, an action Koeman later regretted.
After scoring the winning free kick goal in the 1992 European Cup final, he became the first player to score a goal in two consecutive Cup Finals of different European competitions.
Ronald Koeman scored 193 league goals in 503 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.
Koeman was appointed the manager of Ajax Amsterdam in 2001. Ajax' fortunes suffered a steady decline after Koeman got off to a successful start at the ArenA, winning a domestic double in 2001-02. Despite regaining the title in 2003-04, Ajax had fallen behind rivals PSV Eindhoven as the Netherlands' top team, and Koeman resigned after the Amsterdam side were knocked out of the UEFA Cup by AJ Auxerre.
Koeman bounced back quickly from a disappointing end to his reign at AFC Ajax in February 2005, taking up the vacant position at Portuguese champions SL 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 Eindhoven, Koeman only won the Portuguese Supercup: the team finished the Portuguese League in third place (behind rivals F.C. Porto and Sporting) and was knocked out of the Portuguese Cup in the quarter-finals (after losing to Vitória de Guimarães). This, along with an offer from PSV Eindhoven, sufficed for the manager to leave one year before the end of his contract, even though Benfica reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League before losing to FC Barcelona, who ended up winning the trophy.
In the 2006/2007 season, Koeman served as head coach of PSV Eindhoven, as successor of Guus Hiddink. PSV dominated the first season half, putting competitors as AZ and Ajax at a reasonable distance and PSV was almost destined to become champions again. However, PSV 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 against all odds, winning at home 5-1 against Vitesse Arnhem, and thereby becoming Eredivisie champions on goal difference.
On 31 October 2007 Koeman agreed to be the new coach of Valencia CF after the sacking of Quique Flores. With Valencia he won the 2007-2008 Spanish Cup, a tournament he previously won as a player of Barcelona. However, under his wing, Valencia dropped from the 4th place to hold the 15th place in the league, only two points above the relegation zone. On 21 April 2008 the club management of Valencia CF fired him.
Football: Ronald Koeman, Jan Tomaszewski and England's Other World Cup Villains. FIFA WORLD CUP GERMANY 2006 GROUP E
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