BELGRADE (Reuters) - Dutchman Dick Advocaat will take over as Serbia coach to lead the team’s bid to qualify for the 2016 European Championship, the Balkan country’s Football Association (FSS) president Tomislav Karadzic told Reuters.
“The agreement we have reached with Advocaat is a result of month-long negotiations we’ve had with him and we will officially unveil him as the new coach in the next few days,” Karadzic said on Tuesday.
The 66-year old Advocaat, who has coached a myriad of clubs and national teams including his native Netherlands, Belgium, South Korea and Russia, will replace caretaker Ljubinko Drulovic who stepped in for Sinisa Mihajlovic after Serbia failed to qualify for this year’s 2014 World Cup.
Advocaat won the 1999 domestic treble in Scotland with Rangers as well as the 2007 Russian Premier League and the 2008 UEFA Cup with Zenit St. Petersburg but the last six years of his career have been barren.
He will be the second foreigner to coach Serbia after Spaniard Javier Clemente failed to qualify for Euro 2008.
The Serbians reached the 2010 World Cup under Radomir Antic but missed out on Euro 2012 as well as this year’s World Cup in Brazil.
“Serbia has a very good team and the focus will be on qualifying for Euro 2016,” Advocaat told Dutch media.
“The FSS showed a lot of initiative in the talks and I agreed to take over.”
(Additional reporting by Mark Gleeson)
Editing by Ed Osmond