Ronald Koeman is a former Dutch professional footballer who is currently the manager of the national football team of the Netherlands. Born in Zaandam, the Netherlands, to former international football player Martin Koeman, Ronald had been interested in playing football ever since he was a child. He started his professional career playing for a local club named ‘FC Groningen’ and later moved to the most successful club of the country, ‘Ajax.’ He eventually joined the club ‘Philips Sport Vereniging’ (PSV) and was part of the ‘European Cup’-winning team in 1988. He eventually joined the national football team of the Netherlands and was one of the star players on the team, representing it in the 1990 and 1994 ‘FIFA World Cups.’ He played both as a midfielder and a defender and was known as a composed footballer. He was known for his accuracy and long-range passing and was also an efficient penalty-kick taker. He has coached three of his country’s best clubs: ‘Feyenoord,’ ‘Ajax,’ and ‘PSV,’ and has also played for them, becoming the first person to achieve the feat. Since 2018, he has been managing the national football team of the Netherlands.
Childhood & Early Life
Ronald Koeman was born on March 21, 1963, in Zaandam, the Netherlands, to Marijke and Martin Koeman. His father, Martin, was himself a local and international football player. Ronald’s older brother, Erwin Koeman, also became an international player. The brothers were teammates in a few international matches.
Having an international footballer as a father resulted in both the brothers obsessing over the sport ever since they were young. Although their father was a footballer, his career was not too successful. He worked part-time as a butcher and had played only one international game for his national team.
Both the brothers developed a keen interest in the game. There were times when their mother had to throw food at them from the balcony while they played in the streets without eating and drinking. Ronald started playing football at a bigger level in his mid-teenage years, when he joined some local football teams. Soon, he was signed by the local club ‘FC Groningen.’
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Career as a Coach/Manager
In 1997, Ronald Koeman retired from the game. He became a member of the coaching staff of the national team during the 1998 ‘FIFA World Cup.’ He also had a small stint as the assistant coach of ‘Barcelona’ before he was offered his first job as the head coach of the club ‘Vitesse.’ Despite working within a limited budget, he helped the underdog team reach a ‘UEFA Cup’ spot in 2000.
In 2001, Ronald was appointed as the manager of ‘Ajax.’ However, his stint was not too successful. Following abysmal performances in the next few years, Ronald resigned as the team’s manager in 2005.
The same year, he became the manager of the Portuguese club ‘Benfica.’ This time, too, the team did not perform as expected and underperformed in many crucial tournaments, such as the ‘Portuguese League’ and the ‘Champions League.’ After serving ‘Benfica’ for a year, Ronald was removed from the position. This happened a year before his contract ended.
In the 2006–2007 season, Ronald coached ‘PSV’ and had a great start. The team performed brilliantly during the first half of the regular season, but its performance deteriorated in the second half. However, the failure could also be attributed to a lot of injuries that had affected the team’s best players at that time. Despite the shortcomings, the team ended up winning the ‘Eredivisie Championship’ by the end of the season.
In 2007, he was appointed as the new manager of ‘Valencia.’ During his first year with the team, he helped them win the ‘Copa del Rey.’ However, following the poor performance of the team later, he was eventually sacked in 2008. He then managed teams such as ‘AZ,’ ‘Feyenoord,’ and ‘Southampton.’ With ‘Southampton,’ his managing career reached its pinnacle and he was named the ‘Premier League Manager of the Month’ thrice during the 2014–2015 and the 2015–2016 seasons.
In June 2016, he started coaching ‘Everton,’ and in 2018, he was appointed as the head coach of the Dutch national football team.
Family & Personal Life
His teammates in ‘Barcelona’ affectionately called him ‘Tintin’ due to his physical similarity to the popular cartoon character.
Ronald Koeman married Bartina in December 1985. The couple has two children. Their son, Ronald Koeman Jr., also became a footballer and currently plays as a goalkeeper for ‘FC Oss.’
Ronald has been associated with an anti-smoking campaign called ‘Kick it with Help,’ after his wife and one of his best friends suffered from cancer.