Frank Rijkaard

From Academic Kids

Frank Rijkaard (born September 30, 1962 in Amsterdam) is a former Dutch football player. He has been the manager of FC Barcelona since 2003. In one of his less glorious moments Frank spat at Rudi Vller during the match with Germany at the 1990 World Cup.

Frank Rijkaard made his professional debut for Ajax under coach Leo Beenhakker in the season 1980-81, immediately scoring for his team in the 4-2 victory over Go Ahead Eagles. He would play another 23 games for Ajax in his first season netting a total of 4 goals. In 1982 he would win his first National Championship with Ajax, and would defend that title a year later. In 1987, what would have been Rijkaard's fouth year under Dutch football legend Johan Cruijff as head coach, Rijkaard stormed off the training field and vowed never to play under him again. He was signed by Sporting Lisbon, but just too late and he was ineligible to play in any games. He was immediately loaned out to Spanish team Real Zaragoza and upon completing his first season after leaving Ajax was signed by Italian side AC Milan.

His 5 seasons at Milan nearly made him a legend himself. Alongside fellow country-men Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit, Milan won the European Cup twice and the scudetto twice. Finally after 5 incredible seasons Rijkaard returned to Ajax. In his last 2 seasons as a professinal footballer, he won the Dutch Championship twice and in his final game won the European Championship (which had been renamed as the Champions League) again, with a 1-0 victory over AC Milan in the final.

Rijkaard made his debut for Holland in 1981, alongside his childhood friend Ruud Gullit. He was part of the Dutch side that won the 1988 European Championship with a 2-0 win in the final over the Soviet Union, playing at center-back alongside Ronald Koeman. He won a total of 73 caps and scoring 10 goals. Rijkaard also played for the Netherlands during the 1990 and 1994 World Cups and at Euro 92. He made his final appearance for Holland in the 3-2 defeat against eventual winners Brazil in the quater-finals of the 1994 World Cup.

His coaching career started out of the blue with no experience or coaching training when he took the job of National Coach of Holland in 1998 with the goal of winning the 2000 European Championships, which were jointly hosted by Holland and Belgium. After the loss to Italy in the semi-finals Rijkaard quit shocking the press, fans and even players who would've have liked to see him stay.

He then took the job as the head coach of Sparta Rotterdam. After one season the club were relegated for the first time in their history.

Currently, Rijkaard is the Head Coach of Spanish giants FC Barcelona, which he has steered to its 17th Spanish League Championship (on May 14th, 2005) in just his second season as Head Coach, and is widely recognized as one of the best football managers in the world.

Rijkaard was named by Pel as one of the top 125 greatest living footballers in March Rijkaard es:Frank Rijkaard nl:Frank Rijkaard ja:フランク・ライカールト


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