Marco van Basten has stepped down from his role as AZ Alkmaar coach due to health reasons and will instead be an assistant at the club.

  • By Michael Bell
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vn vVan Basten joined AZ Alkmaar from Heerenveen in the summer but has been absent from the club for the past two weeks after suffering palpitations.

It was rumoured last week that the 49-year-old would not return to the club, but this was denied by the man himself and on Monday it was announced by AZ that Van Basten would return to the training ground on Tuesday.

However speaking this morning at a press conference, Van Basten has announced his decision to step down from his role, and will instead act as an assistant to Alex Pastoor, who is expected to be named as his successor. A new two-year-contract has been signed by the former Dutch international, who will concentrate on the development of youth players at the club.

Van Basten said, “I have found that in recent times the role of head coach was causing me increasing physical and mental discomfort,”

“It (the palpitations) has happened to me several times over the last years. I thought I could overcome it and that things would get better,” he added.

“I worked hard at recovery and followed the necessary courses of treatment. I wanted to keep going but they kept coming back. There were two solutions: to do something else or to change the way I currently work.”

“Therefore I decided I had to be honest with myself and with AZ. I wanted to return, but not as head coach. After extensive discussions with the club and Alex Pastoor and Dennis Haar, we have found a suitable solution for all.

“I am delighted with my new role which is a little more in the background. I want to help the young players here.”

Van Basten, who’s hugely successful playing career was cut short by injury, has coach Netherlands national team, Ajax and Heerenveen in the past, but is now unlikely to ever return to management.

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