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Where are the Dutch European Championship winners of 1988 now?

It is the only major prize won in the history of Dutch international football: The 1988 European Championship. When remembering that year, every Dutch football fan, young and old, immediately thinks of that victorious tournament in Germany. With a stunning goal from Marco van Basten, the Netherlands won 2-0 against the Soviet Union in the Olympic Stadium in Munich. Now, with the next European Championship in Germany just around the corner, we hope the current squad can repeat the feat and make history. This is also the perfect moment to look back at the 1988 squad again. Who was a part of that team? And what has become of them in their life after football?

Ronald Koeman

Hans van Breukelen

We start in goal with Hans van Breukelen. The goalkeeper played a brilliant leading role in the final and had an overall excellent tournament. In the final, he saved Bilanov’s penalty. Van Breukelen became famous worldwide for putting his finger under his eye and showing Bilanov that he knew where he would shoot, which became known as ‘The little finger of Van Breukelen. After his football career, Van Breukelen did not remain idle: He served as the technical director of the KNVB, the Dutch football association, was a member of the supervisory board at PSV, worked as an independent entrepreneur at HvB Management, and was the director of Sports&Technology. He also wrote several books and is active as a speaker and management trainer.

Berry van Aerle

Berry van Aerle was the lightning-fast right-back of this team, earning him the nickname Turbo Berry. Van Aerle is a club icon for PSV, having spent 12 seasons with the Eindhoven club. In his life after football, he worked at PSV as a supporters’ coordinator and scout. Even more remarkably, he took up a job as a postal worker!

Frank Rijkaard

Frank Rijkaard was one of the mainstays of this team with his leadership and stability. The defender made his mark at Ajax, AC Milan, and FC Barcelona. After his football career, he became a successful coach, notably at FC Barcelona where he debuted Lionel Messi and managed players like Ronaldinho. With this star-studded team, he won the Champions League and multiple championships. After his last role in 2011 as the head coach of Saudi Arabia, he is now enjoying his football retirement and tries to stay out of the public eye.

Ronald Koeman

Ronald Koeman is also one of the big names on this list. Koeman has had a remarkable career both as a player and as a coach. Currently, Ronald Koeman is the head coach of the Dutch national team and hopes to replicate the success of 1988 as a coach next summer. Previously, he managed clubs such as Valencia, FC Barcelona, Ajax, PSV, Everton, and Southampton.

Adri van Tiggelen

Van Tiggelen was a reliable left-back during the 1988 European Championship, known for his solid defensive play. After retiring from football, he worked as a coach for various Dutch clubs, including a stint at Sparta Rotterdam, whom he guided to a promotion to the Eredivisie.

Gerald Vanenburg

Vanenburg was an essential midfielder in the 1988 European Championship. Following his playing career, he transitioned into coaching, taking roles at several clubs, including PSV’s youth academy, and worked as an assistant coach, contributing to the development of young talent.

Jan Wouters

Jan Wouters was the midfield enforcer. After retiring, he pursued a coaching career, with various roles including head coach and assistant at FC Utrecht, Ajax, Feyenoord and Rangers. He is currently a youth coach in Amsterdam at Ajax.

Arnold Mühren

Mühren’s experience and midfield control were vital in the championship. After his playing days, he focused on coaching and training young players, working with youth academies, and sharing his expertise to help develop the next generation of footballers.

Erwin Koeman

Erwin Koeman is indeed Ronald’s brother, but calling him that doesn’t do him justice. He had a fine career and was a key player for the most successful Dutch national team ever. What a dream it must have been: Becoming European champion on the field with your brother! After his career, he became head coach of various clubs and frequently assisted Ronald in various coaching roles.

Ruud Gullit

Ruud Gullit was the captain and one of the stars of the team. Football fans worldwide know Ruud Gullit, and for good reason. A fantastic, versatile player, sporting his iconic dreadlocks. He partnered with Marco van Basten in attack during this tournament, as they would for years at AC Milan, where teammate Frank Rijkaard was also part of the squad as a defender. After his career, Gullit became a coach at clubs like Chelsea and Newcastle United, also serving as an assistant multiple times. Nowadays, he is primarily seen on TV as a football pundit.


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Marco van Basten

Marco van Basten is one of the greatest Dutch footballers of all time. He played a crucial role during the 1988 European Championship, scoring the winning goal against the host country Germany in the semi-final and the stunning volley in the final, often regarded as one of the greatest goals in the history of the Dutch national team. Van Basten was the tournament’s top scorer and best player. He later won the Ballon d’Or. After his playing career, he became a coach at clubs like AZ, SC Heerenveen, Ajax, and the Dutch national team. He also held various positions at FIFA, where he was responsible for innovations and game development. Nowadays, like his friend Gullit from AC Milan, he is primarily active as a football pundit on Dutch television.