June 5, 2012 / 1:02 AM / 5 years ago

Soccer-Euro-Coach van Marwijk has cup pedigree

ROTTERDAM, June 5 (Reuters) - Bert van Marwijk was not considered the perfect candidate to succeed Marco van Basten in 2008, but after guiding the Dutch to the 2010 World Cup final he has been handed an extended contract to 2016.

Clauses in his new deal with the Dutch Football Association allow for approaches from major European clubs, but for most of his career he has gained greater success in tournaments and cup competitions rather than leagues.

A modest and conventional winger who played for 19 seasons with mid-table Dutch teams and won one international cap, Van Marwijk turned to coaching before he hung up his boots.

After seven years with amateur teams, he joined top flight Fortuna Sittard and reached the 1999 Cup final, losing 2-0 against Ajax Amsterdam.

In July, 2000, Van Marwijk joined Feyenoord. In his second year, they did not survive the Champions League group stage, but had an impressive run in the UEFA Cup.

Wins over Rangers, PSV Eindhoven and Inter Milan took them to the 2002 final in which they beat Borussia Dortmund.

In 2004 Van Marwijk, who is father-in-law of international midfielder Mark van Bommel, left Feyenoord to join Dortmund, but he was dismissed in December, 2006.

Six months later, he returned to Feyenoord where he stayed one season and won the Dutch Cup before taking over as national team coach in August, 2008. He asked Frank de Boer and Phillip Cocu, both highly experienced with more than 100 caps, to assist him.

Despite past difficulties with 'big name' players, including a bust-up with Robin Van Persie at Feyenoord, Van Marwijk managed the personalities in the Dutch camp well and kept any incidents under control.

He also showed daring by taking a risk with winger Arjen Robben, retaining him in his squad despite a hamstring problem, a week before the 2010 World Cup began. Robben recovered and played well.

Van Marwijk may need similar steely strength again when he selects his strongest team at Euro 2012, perhaps having to leave out an established big name.

Strikers Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Van Persie have both enjoyed fine goal-scoring seasons and could be rivals for a starting position.

If Van Marwijk dares to make the decisions and manage the consequences, the Dutch may enjoy another successful campaign. (Editing by Tim Collings/Mike Collett)

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