Van Basten named Netherlands assistant

Marco van Basten has left his role at AZ to take on the job as assistant coach to Danny Blind at Netherlands.

Netherlands great Marco van Basten has returned to the national team as assistant coach to Danny Blind.

Van Basten earned 54 caps for Netherlands during a distinguished playing career that took in stints with the likes of Ajax and Milan.

The 50-year-old also enjoyed a four-year spell as Netherlands head coach between 2004 and 2008, leading them to the semi-finals of Euro 2008.

He has now opted to leave his positions as assistant coach at Eredivisie side AZ to take on his new position.

"I'm really looking forward to this interesting job and also look forward to the renewed collaboration with Danny Blind," Van Basten said.

"I had to make a difficult choice, because the role at AZ was to my liking. Blind convinced me of the challenge of the national team."

Blind has previously been Van Basten's right-hand man at Ajax, but was appointed to the Netherlands' top job earlier this month to replace Guus Hiddink.

His main priority is securing qualification for Euro 2016, with Netherlands third in Group A.