Nigel de Jong will be the new director of the KNVB’s Best Football. The 38-year-old Amsterdammer finished his football career in 2021 with Qatari club Al Shahania and still lives in Qatar. Today he travels as a football analyst between Qatar, England and the Netherlands, where he can be seen on Fiplay.
It became clear that the 81-times Portugal international wanted to continue working in football when he started UEFA’s MA International Business program immediately upon his retirement in October 2021. Private coaching for the former pro. As a youth player at Ajax, De Jong started in a gymnasium and eventually graduated with a Havo certificate.
At the start of the UEFA tournament, De Jong had already said he would like to play a leading role within a football organization in the future. “As general manager or as sporting director,” he told Manchester City, where de Jong played from 2009 to 2012. “I feel more about that than as a coach.”
At the KNVB, De Jong will succeed Nico Jan Hoogma. It took the Supervisory Board with Technical Commissioner Han Berger and the Football Association’s management fourteen months to lay the eggs. Hoogma announced his departure in November 2021 and since then KNVB has spoken with Earnest Stewart and Mo Allach of the RKC, among others. Stewart canceled because he preferred to manage the American Football Association in the run-up to the 2026 World Cup in America, Mexico and Canada.
With De Jong, someone enters Zeist who is tried and tested as a professional footballer, but still lacks all experience as a director. According to KNVB policy makers, this is not a problem and new national coach Ronald Koeman, director of football development Lenard van Rouffen and Alois Wenker as director of football policy will guide KNVB De Jong’s team.
It is important that De Jong strengthens the relationship with the suppliers for the representative teams and that he gives assurance to the technical policy at the top level at Zeist. Where he has to assign a line to the coaches of the Dutch selection teams.
De Jong does not have to perform an important task at the moment. Ronald Koeman was appointed to succeed national coach Louis van Gaal in April last year. He signed a contract for 3.5 years, during which he will lead the Dutch national team during the Final Four in June this year in our country with Croatia, Italy and Spain. Koeman is also responsible for qualifying for the European Championship in Germany and the final round in 2024 and for qualifying for the World Cup and the final tournament in 2026 in America, Mexico and Canada.
Nigel de Jong, son of former PSV player Jerry de Jong, can recall a remarkable career as a player. He made his Ajax debut at the age of 17 as a right-back under new national coach Ronald Koeman and became a one-time champion. As an Ajax player, he made his debut for Orange against France at the age of 19.
Since 2006, de Jong has played three years at Hamburg SV, where Dutch coach Hope Stevens has turned him into a defensive midfielder. Then he joined for three seasons with Manchester City, with whom he won the Premier League title and the FA Cup. After two years in Milan, De Jong is still defending the colors of La Galaxy in America, Galatasaray in Turkey, and Mainz 05 in Germany, and he was under contract with the Qatari clubs Al-Ahly and Al-Shahaniya.
De Jong played the 2010 World Cup Final in South Africa with Orange and finished 3rd in the 2016 World Cup in Brazil four years later. For a brief period between October 2010 and March 2011, national coach Bert van Marwijk de Jong did not call up a number of international matches after coming under heavy criticism when American Stuart Holden and Frenchman Hatem Ben Arfa both broke their legs after a tackle from De Jong while he was in the World Cup final against Spain. He gave a karate kick to Xavi Alonso’s chest. De Jong has scored once in 81 caps in eleven years with the Dutch national team.
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