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Leo Beenhakker (born 2 August 1942 in Rotterdammarker, Zuid-Hollandmarker) is an international Dutchmarker football coach, who is the current Technical Director of Feyenoord.

Coaching career

He has been the coach of several prestigious clubs including Ajax, Feyenoord, Real Madrid, Real Zaragoza and Club América. He has also coached the Saudi Arabian and Dutch national teams. He coached the national team of Trinidad and Tobago in the year leading up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Under Beenhakker's guidance the team managed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, where the team secured a (goalless) draw against Sweden in its first match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and gave England cause for concern in the second match.

From 2000 to 2003 Beenhakker was Director of Technical Affairs with Ajax. In that period he fired coach Co Adriaanse and replaced him with Ronald Koeman.

Because he has been active in Spanish football he has the nickname "Don Leo". He is famous for his fondness of cigars and his dry humor.

Poland

On 11 July 2006, Beenhakker was appointed as the manager of the Polish national football team. Originally, he was appointed to manage Poland until the end of Euro 2008, however, his contract was prolonged until November 2009 and the end of World Cup 2010 qualifiers.

Feyenoord hired him on 5 May 2007 to coach the team through the 2006–07 play-offs.

On 17 November 2007, beating Belgium 2–0, he managed to qualify with Polish national team to 2008 European Football Championship - the first coach ever to do so; even in its golden years, the seventies and eighties, Poland never qualified to play in the European Football Championship.

On 20 February 2008, he was decorated with the Order of Polonia Restituta by the Polish President Lech Kaczyński. The Order can be conferred for outstanding achievements in the fields of education, science, sport, culture, art, economics, defense of the country, social work, civil service, or for furthering good relations between countries.

Upon Poland's failure to qualify for World Cup 2010, Beenhakker was sacked as coach.

After his departure as Head Coach from Poland national football team, he was named as the new Sports Director of Feyenoord, having signed a contract on 9 October 2009 up to 30 June 2011.

Languages

Beenhakker is a polyglot who speaks several languages, including Dutch, English and Spanish. He also learned a little Polish during his time as national team manager.

References


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