The Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk has revealed that while the Dutch national team are disappointed at losing Ronald Koeman to Barcelona, nobody was shocked that he took the job. Koeman replaced Quique Setien in the Camp Nou hot seat with the Netherlands yet to appoint a replacement.
With Barcelona undergoing a rebuild, few were shocked when they appointed Ronald Koeman, a man that the club’s hierarchy have been chasing for quite some time. The Dutch international was the club’s top choice to replace Ernesto Valverde in January but he opted not to take up the role and the club chose to appoint former Real Betis coach Quique Setien instead. However, with Koeman now replacing Setien, few were surprised when the move took place as he had a Barcelona clause in his contact with the Netherlands.
The former Netherlands head coach made quite an impression as he transformed the Dutch team into a force to be reckoned with over the last few years. Not only that but Koeman also gelled well with the players and Virgil van Dijk confirmed as much. The Dutch captain admitted that the players and the team, in general, are disappointed at losing Koeman to Barcelona but are not surprised that he did make the swap. Van Dijk also added that the players don’t feel let down by their former head coach and have wished him nothing but the best.
"It was not a shock but we are all disappointed because we have seen a tremendous coach depart. But it was his dream. We give him that. It is sad for us but we understand. The players don't feel let down by Koeman, they only wish him the best," Van Dijk said reported ESPN.
The Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB) have yet to appoint a permanent replacement for Koeman although his assistant coach Dwight Lodeweges will take charge of the next two games. But reports have indicated that Louis van Gaal, who retired a few years ago, is the front-runner and Van Dijk admitted that the players have given their opinion already. He also added that he is happy the association is listening to the players although the final choice lies with the KNVB.
"We as a players' advisory body have given them our opinion already. We want to proceed with the vision. We are glad that the association is listening to us but ultimately they must make a choice. But it is equally important that they know how we feel."