BRUSSELS - Zenit St Petersburg coach Dick Advocaat has agreed to take over as Belgium coach with the deal due to be finalised this week, a spokesman for the Belgian Football Association said on Wednesday. "The contracts are agreed and we just need to find a convenient time for both sides to put pen to paper and present our new coach to the press," the spokesman said. Belgian FA chairman Francois De Keersmaecker and chief executive Jean-Marie Philips are attending the FIFA congress in the Bahamas until Friday, while Advocaat is still in charge at St Petersburg. "You can imagine that something could happen once our officials return on Friday," the spokesman said. Advocaat should take over on Jan. 1 when his contract with Russian club Zenit expires and will be given an initial two-year contract with the possibility of at least another 18 months should Belgium qualify for Euro 2012. Belgian media have reported that the 61-year-old Dutchman was keen on a move to Belgium to be nearer family and friends and that he would earn 600,000 euro a year. Belgium have only slim hopes of making it to the 2010 World Cup, standing fourth in European Group Five, 11 points behind leaders Spain with four games left. The 2002 World Cup was the last time they qualified for a major championship. Advocaat, nicknamed the "Little General", led Zenit to the UEFA Cup and European Super Cup double last year. He has previously coached the Netherlands, South Korea and United Arab Emirates. He was also in charge of PSV Eindhoven, winning the Dutch league and Cup, and Rangers where he won two Scottish Premier League titles.
3 June 2009
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