In an interview with Dutch football magazine Voetbal International former Ajax and AC Milan legend Frank Rijkaard announces he will not return to the world of football as a manager. The former Champions League winner with FC Barcelona has not had a great deal of success in his later jobs with Galatasaray and the national team of Saudi Arabia.

  • By Nick van Ruiven
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rijkaard sHe was sacked from that latter job over a year ago as the Saudies had already missed out on World Cup qualification and later were eliminated in  the group stages of the 2013 Gulf Cup.  During the interview he says he is grateful for all that he has accomplished in the game but now he feels it is time to concentrate on other things in life, watch the odd game and maybe do some punditry.

Frank Rijkaard’s managerial career began in 1998 when he was appointed as head coach of the Dutch national team. As the Dutch were co-hosts of Euro 2000 (along with Belgium) his side only played friendlies in the build-up to that tournament. The tournament itself came to a halt in the semi-final, unsurprisingly after a penalty shoot-out against Italy.

In 2001 he was appointed by then Eredivisie side Sparta Rotterdam. At the time Sparta were known to be the only side outside of the traditional Big Three of Ajax, Feyenoord and PSV to have been ever-present in the top flight of Dutch football. Unluckily for Rijkaard, he would become the first manager to take Sparta Rotterdam down.

He left Sparta after that miserable season but he would soon grow over that unlucky period as he became a somehow surprise appointment as new FC Barcelona boss.

At the Nou Camp he laid the foundations of a very succesful era for the Catalans. In Rijkaard’s first season they would finish 2nd after a sloppy start. After the following season Rijkaard and his assistant Henk ten Cate led the Catalans to the La Liga title.  During that season Rijkaard promoted Lionel Messi to the senior side and handed an official debut to the Argentine on October 16, 2004 against city rivals Espanyol.

The 2005/06 season proved to be the most succesful season for Rijkaard at Barcelona, clinching not only another La Liga title but the Champions League as well.

Having failed to win La Liga in 2007 and 2008,  FC Barcelona announced that Pep Guardiola would succeed Rijkaard for the 2008/09 season.

After FC Barcelona he was out of a job for one season. He returned to the game for the 2009/10 season with Turkish giants Galatasaray.

Although Rijkaard and his new assistant Johan Neeskens signed a two year deal with the Turkish side, they are both sacked after just one season due to the lack of silverware.

In the summer of 2011 Rijkaard took charge of the national team of Saudi Arabia where he failed to qualify for the upcoming World Cup and headed out of the Gulf Cup after the group stages.

All in all it can be said that the managerial career of Franklin Edmundo Rijkaard has been of  real highs and real lows.




Nick Van Ruiven (35 Posts)