The KNVB caused a shock on Wednesday by naming Nigel de Jong as the new director of top football.

The KNVB have been looking for a new director since Nico-Jan Hoogma departed in June to start working with Heracles Almelo.

The new director will be Nigel de Jong, who will also complete a UEFA management course this spring.

The 38-year-old former midfielder made 95 appearances for the Dutch national team, but now gets started in a different role. He told the KNVB website, “It is a very good prospect to get started in this position, in which I want to help further improve Dutch top football, among men and women.

“Working in top football requires specific knowledge and experience. In my years as a player I gained that at various clubs at home and abroad and I can now use it. It’s been seventeen years since I left the Netherlands, but of course I’ve always followed Dutch football.”

As director of top football, De Jong must ensure that the national teams of the KNVB can perform to their maximum. De Jong was recently a pundit for ITV during the World Cup.

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