sport

Dutch hire van Nistelrooy

Former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy has been named assistant coach of the Netherlands, the Dutch football association (KNVB) announced on Friday.

The Dutchman will work under new coach Guus Hiddink and alongside Danny Blind, who will replace Hiddink after the 2016 European Championships and will mastermind the 2018 World Cup campaign.

Van Nistelrooy scored 35 goals in 70 internationals for his country and was a three-time UEFA Champions League top scorer, before announcing his retirement from football in 2012.

The KNVB have also brought in Patrick Lodewijks as goalkeeping coach to take over from Frans Hoek, who has departed for Manchester United with former Netherlands boss Louis van Gaal.

Patrick Kluivert, who worked under Van Gaal as an assistant at this year's World Cup in Brazil, also leaves.

Former internationals Pierre van Hooijdonk, Aron Winter, Sonny Silooy and Michael Reiziger have been hired to undertake various roles with the national junior teams.

The Netherlands kick off their 2016 European Championship qualifying campaign against Italy in September, where they will look to build on their successful 2014 World Cup, which saw them finish in third place.