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Rudolf ("Ruud" or "Rudi") Jozef Krol (born 24 March 1949 in Amsterdammarker) is a retired Dutchmarker footballer who was capped 83 times for his native country. Playing the vast majority of his career with his home town club of Ajax before traveling the world as both a player and a coach. He is currently the manager of South African Premier Soccer League side Orlando Pirates.

Playing career

He began his career at Ajax Amsterdam under manager Rinus Michels. In his first season at the club he did not play much. After the departure of left back Theo van Duivenbode in the summer of 1969 to Feyenoord, Krol became a regular player. When Ajax reached the UEFA European Cup in 1971, and won, Krol did not play because of a broken leg. Krol did play in the European Cup finals of 1972 and 1973. While others such as Johan Cruijff and Johan Neeskens left for pastures new, Krol, captain since the departure of Piet Keizer in October 1974, stayed at Ajax until 1980. He moved to the NASL to play for the Vancouver Whitecaps for one season. He then joined Napoli where he played for the next four seasons. His last club before he retired in 1986 was the Frenchmarker club AS Cannes, at the time in Ligue 2 (the French 2nd division).

Internationally, Krol made his debut for the Netherlands in 1969 against England, and would go on to earn 83 caps, retiring from international football in 1983. He was a crucial component in the Total Football side of the 1970s. A versatile defender, he could play in any position along the back four or midfield. In the 1974 FIFA World Cup, in which the Netherlands reached the final, Krol primarily played at left-back. He created Cruijff's goal against Brazil and scored a 25-yard screamer against Argentina. They fell at the final hurdle, losing 2-1 to West Germany.

By the time the 1978 FIFA World Cup came about, Krol had switched to playing as a sweeper and had earned the captain's armband after the retirement of Cruijff. Krol had a fine tournament featuring in the FIFA All Star Team. He was, however, unable to prevent the Netherlands from falling to their second Final defeat, this time losing 3-1 to Argentina.In 1979, Krol would finish third in the European Footballer of the Year competition behind the winner Kevin Keegan and the second placed Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

Krol played for the Netherlands as captain at the 1980 European Championship, but they disappointed, being knocked out in the first round by West Germany and Czechoslovakia. They also failed to qualify for the 1982 FIFA World Cup. He played for part of the qualifying for Euro 84, and played his last international in 1983, in a 1-0 European Championship qualifying defeat against Spain.Krol attained the Dutch caps record on May 2, 1979, when he equaled the total of Puck van Heel. He would become the outright owner of the title, most capped Dutch player, in his next game, his 65th cap, on May 22, 1979. The game was a FIFA Jubilee Match against Argentina which Argentina won on penalties 8–7.He would remain the most capped Dutch player until 29 June 2000, when the then Dutch coach Frank Rijkaard brought on Aron Winter as a substitute during a Euro 2000 game against Italy.

Krol is one of only four players to score both a goal and an own goal in the World Cup; the others being Ernie Brandts (another Dutch player), Mexico's Gustavo Peña and Serbia's Siniša Mihajlović.

Managerial career

In his managerial career, he has been head coach of Egypt, and has been assistant manager of the Netherlands (under Louis van Gaal) and Ajax (under Ronald Koeman). He became interim manager of Ajax after the resignation of Koeman. He was manager of AC Ajaccio in France Ligue 2 from 2006 to 2007. He returned as manager of Egyptianmarker giants Zamalek in August 2007. He had previously managed them from 1994 to 1999, winning the Egyptian Cup in 1999, the African Cup of Champions Clubs in 1996 and the Afro-Asian Club Championship 1997, the last two being the biggest club level prizes available to CAF clubs. Krol's return to Zamalek was meant to be a stabilizing presence, the club having gone through several managers in the preceding two seasons.His stay however would be a short one, within one season he would leave and sign a four year contract with the South African giants Orlando Pirates. He ended his sole season by winning one Egyptian Cup with Zamalek.


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