Most people remember Ruud Krol for his fantastic time as a player with Ajax Amsterdam and the Dutch national team. A great “sweeper” or in today’s talking, central defender with great passing ability.
He didn’t follow Cruyff and Neeskens to Spain and New York Cosmos, instead he stayed loyal to Ajax for 12 years before moving to NASL and Vancouver Whitecaps. A short stay in Canada was then switched with a chance to play in Serie A with Napoli. Four years with Napoli and adding four years to a fabulous career. The route of football playing was then after this to a another country, turning out for Cannes in France.
When Ruud Krol finished playing in the year of 1986, he turned into coaching and has since then over period of more than 30 years stayed in the trade in many different roles as head coach, manager and or assistant to some great names such as Ronald Koeman, Frank Rijkard and Louis Van Gaal.
His management has been a mix of coaching national teams and club teams all over the globe. He won all of his titles as a player with Ajax, and of course being a very important player in that “total football” Dutch revolution, picking up two loser medals from the World Cup, defeated by the home nations, West Germany and Argentina, in 1974 and 1978.
Krool’s CV as a player is well documented, but as a coach probably not that known since being travelling into areas of football that are not getting too much attention, as winning the league in Tunisia and South Africa.
As a head coach at South African club Orlando Pirates he had great success from 2008 to 2011, winning two cup titles and a league championship. He was last seen as coach of CSS from Saudi Arabia.
Switching back to his playing days again, he was the one taking over the captaincy of the national team when Johan Cruyff stepped down and as we could remember captaining Holland in that 1978 World Cup final.
Krol turned 70 in March and to have been a professional in football over period of more than 50 years, shows ability and great knowledge, despite not really getting the World light much after retiring as a player.
His contract came to an end in Tunis this summer, and despite getting to the age of 70 still hoping to land a new job and be following other legendary men such as Roy Hodgson, Sir Bobby Robson and several others who are eager to continue into eternity.