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Dick Advocaat Biography

As one of the best head coaches in the history of Dutch football, he has managed the Netherlands national team on three occasions. In this article, we will take a look at Dick Advocaat biography.

Dick Advocaat, born 27 September 1947 in The Hague, is a Dutch coach and former footballer. He is currently working as the head coach of the Iraqi national team. Advocaat started playing football at ADO Den Haag when he was 19 years old. Other than two spells in the United States, he spent all of his playing career in many Dutch teams before retiring in 1984 at FC Utrecht.

Three years after his retirement from playing football, Advocaat started his professional coaching career at HFC Haarlem, although he had previous coaching experience at the amateur level. His first big job as a coach came in 1992 when he took charge of the Netherlands national team.

After staying at the job for two years, he moved to coach PSV, which was one of the biggest Dutch clubs. At Eindhoven, he managed to win many titles and then decided to begin a new chapter in his career by joining the Scottish club Rangers. During his three year spell in Scotland, he won no less than five different trophies.

His second spell as Netherlands head coach started in 2002, during which he managed to lead the team to a third-place finish in the 2004 European Championship. In the following years, he managed Borussia Mönchengladbach, UAE national team, and South Korea, before signing for Zenit Saint Petersburg, where he won some more silverware.

After that, he had coaching spells with Belgium, AZ, and Russia and then signed for PSV in 2012, to coach the team for a second time. The Johan Cruyff Shield that Advocaat managed to win in 2012 is his last trophy as a manager. Later on in his career, Advocaat managed many different teams and at the time he is working as head coach of the Iraq national team.

All You Need to Know About Dick Advocaat Biography

He is nicknamed "The Little General" named after the nickname of his footballing master, Rinus Michels, who was known as "The General".

Dick Advocaat Information

Now that you know him better, in this section of

Dick Advocaat biography

, we will share some general information about him such as

Dick Advocaat nationality

to let you know him even more. Stay tuned.

Dick Advocaat Bio

  • Full Name: Dirk Nicolaas Advocaat

  • Nickname: The Little General

  • Profession: Professional Coach

Dick Advocaat Physical Stats

  • Weight: 75 Kg

  • Height: 1.70 m

  • Eye Color: Blue

  • Hair Color: Brown

Dick Advocaat Football Information

  • Position: Midfielder

  • Jersey Number: 6

  • Professional Debut: 1966

Dick Advocaat Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 27 September 1947

  • Birth Place: The Hague, Netherlands

  • Zodiac Sign: Libra

  • Nationality: Dutch

Stay tuned to this section of

Dick Advocaat biography

as we will share some information about

Dick Advocaat childhood

and more.

Dick Advocaat Early Life

His career as a footballer began with

ADO Den Haag

. He continued to play there until 1973, playing in 147 league matches and scoring seven goals for the club, when he transferred to


Kerkrade. His spell there lasted for 4 years, playing in 113 league matches and scoring 2 goals.

He signed for

VVV Venlo

in 1977 and after playing 74 matches and scoring six goals in 2 years, he moved to the United States two years later, when he accepted an offer from the Chicago Sting to play for them in the NASL. With the American club, he played 32 matches and scored 3 goals.

Advocaat made a short return to the Netherlands to play for Den Haag again in the 1979/80 season, where he appeared in 11 matches and scored a goal, but he was transferred back to Chicago at the end of the season, this time playing another 31 matches for them in 1980.

After the end of his contract in the United States, he joined

Sparta Rotterdam

from 1980 to 1982, where he played 61 matches and scored six goals for them. He transferred to Berchem Sport, a Belgian club, during the 1982/83 season and played 10 matches, failing to score a single goal for the first time in his career.

He ended his career after playing for

FC Utrecht

for one year, where he played a total of 39 matches and once again was not successful in scoring goals.

Dick Advocaat Profile

Advocaat first started as a coach at the amateurs of DSVP from Pijnacker. In fact, the club wanted to recruit his older brother Jaap, but he had recently signed with Duindorp SV. He managed to win three consecutive seasons with DSVP and went undefeated in 67 matches.

Assistant Coach at Netherlands, Haarlem and SVV

Advocaat was invited by Rinus Michels as an assistant with the Dutch national team, a position he held from 1984 to 1987. Advocaat managed the Dutch women's football team on 23 May 1987 in a one-off match against Norway (0-0).

At the same time, he was also employed by Haarlem and SVV from Schiedam. With the latter club, he won the First Division in 1990. He was fired, however, soon after the merger in 1991. His last man on the bench of SVV was the heave 5-3 away defeat against Sparta Rotterdam.


After the 1992 European Championships, Advocaat was appointed head coach of the Dutch national team, where he led the team to the quarterfinals of the 1994 World Cup in the United States. In the group stage,


defeated Saudi Arabia 2-1, lost 1-0 against the Belgium national team and won 2-1 against Morocco, to reach the Round of 16.

There, Advocaat and his team were able to clinch a 2-0 win against Ireland and reach the quarter-final, where against Carlos Alberto Parreira’s Brazil they lost 2-3. Dennis Bergkamp and Aron Winter scored for the Netherlands in that match.

Ruud Gullit, one of the star players of the team, decided not to go to the World Cup because he believed that Advocaat's style of play was too attacking. His last match on the bench of the Netherlands was the comfortable 5-0 win against Luxembourg in the European Championship qualifiers.


Advocaat made the switch to PSV in December 1994. His first match as the new head coach of PSV Eindhoven came on 22 January 1995, where they suffered a 1-0 away defeat against Ajax, their main rivals. However, from the next match which ended 5-0 against Roda JC, PSV started an unbeaten run for nine matches. That season, PSV finished third in Eredivisie.

In the next season, Advocaat and PSV finished second in the league, with 77 points in 38 matches, just 6 points behind Ajax who won the Eredivisie. In KNVB Cup, after eliminating the likes of Utrecht, De Graafschap, Twente FC and Roda JC Kerkrade, they made it to the final, winning 5-2 against Sparta Rotterdam.

The following season he managed to win the league for the first time with PSV. During his three and a half years at PSV, Advocaat managed to win the Dutch league title, the KNVB cup and two super cups. Stay tuned to this section of Dick Advocaat biography as we will share some information about his




After that, he went to Rangers, where he immediately won the triple title in his first season: the league, the FA Cup and the League Cup. He quit as coach in Glasgow in January 2002 and became technical director.

From that moment on, he also assumed the role of national coach of the Dutch national team again, as

Louis van Gaal

had failed to reach the 2002 World Cup. He left the Scottish club six months later to fully focus on coaching the national team.


In the qualifying matches for the 2004 European Championship, the Netherlands occasionally played well and was undefeated for a long time. But after the away defeat to the Czech Republic, the team ended up second in the qualification group behind the Czech Republic. This meant that a playoff game had to be played against Scotland. In the first match in Glasgow, the Netherlands lost 1-0 and was facing elimination. However, the team qualified for the 2004 European Championship thanks to a 6-0 victory at home.

In the run-up to the 2004 European Championships in May/June 2004, however, not everything went smoothly. The Dutch lost friendly matches against Belgium and Ireland and there were many uncertainties about the tactics to be followed.

Together with Willem van Hanegem and Jan Wouters, Advocaat was the trio that guided the Dutch team in Portugal during the 2004 European Championship. The team came through the difficult group stage with opponents like the Czech Republic and Germany. There was much controversy after the match against the Czech Republic, in which Advocaat replaced the well-playing Arjen Robben with Paul Bosvelt.

The team did not perform as well as it did at the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship, but they seemed much more solid and fought hard. Sweden was the opponent in the quarter-finals, and after a scoreless match, the Swedes were only defeated on penalties.

It seemed that the Netherlands had said goodbye to the penalty syndrome. They subsequently lost 2-1 to Portugal in the semi-finals. As a result of the media frenzy surrounding Advocaat's performance at the European Championships, he resigned from his position on 7 July. He was replaced by

Marco van Basten


Advocaat and Van Hanegem were close friends once. However, after the 2004 European Championships, that friendship seemed to have cooled down considerably. "It was partly because of Willem that it all went so wrong," Advocaat said in 2010 in sports magazine Helden.

Borussia Mönchengladbach

Advocaat joined the German side of Borussia Mönchengladbach on 2 November 2004, which was not doing too well in the Bundesliga at the time. He managed the German team for the first time on 6 November 2004, in the 12th matchday of Bundesliga against 1.FSV Mainz 05, and got a 1-1 draw.

After five months he eventually resigned from the club himself, explaining: "In the current situation, the well-being of the club is more important than anything else. I think that by leaving I can take the pressure off the club and the team. And I hope to give the start so that Borussia stays in the Bundesliga."

Club president Rolf Königs responded by saying, "Advocaat made this decision himself. We respect and accept this and thank him for the good cooperation. He got four wins, six draws and eight defeats in the 18 matches that he was in charge of the team.

United Arab Emirates

In 2005 he was the national coach of the United Arab Emirates for a short time. He only managed the team in two matches as coach of the UAE team, the first one against Kuwait and the second one was the goalless draw friendly match against Egypt which was played on 31 July 2005.

Stay tuned to this section of

Dick Advocaat biography

as we will share some information about Korea career.

South Korea

Not so long after his UAE career, he was appointed as coach of the South Korea national team. He was able to clinch a 2-0 win against their arch-rivals Iran in a friendly match, which was his first game as the coach of the team. In the run-up to the 2006 World Cup, they played many friendly matches, which Korea won most of them, just losing to Denmark and Costa Rica.

Advocaat participated as the coach of South Korea in the 2006 World Cup in Germany but failed to advance beyond the group stage, with a 2-1 win over Togo, a 1-1 draw with France and a 2-0 defeat against Switzerland.

His predecessor and fellow countryman, Guus Hiddink, had a better performance at the 2002 World Cup: he brought the team to the semi-finals. Advocaat was in charge of the Asian team for 19 matches. After the World Cup, he left his job as the head coach of the Korea national team.


Following the World Cup, Advocaat moved to Zenit St. Petersburg, where he became Russian champion in November 2007. It was announced on 17 November that he would not join Australia as a national coach but instead would extend his contract with Zenit.

He made it to the final of the UEFA Cup on 1 May by defeating Bayern Munich with a score of 5-1 on aggregate. It marked the first time Zenit had qualified for this final. They won the match 2-0 on 14 May against his former club Rangers, which Advocaat had worked for four years.

He was named honorary citizen of Saint-Petersburg for this achievement on May 28, 2008, and became the first foreigner since 1866 to receive this honour, and was welcomed by the president of Russia, Vladimir Putin.

Also on 29 August 2008, Advocate's Zenit won the UEFA Super Cup by beating UEFA

Champions League

winner Manchester United 2-1 in Monaco. Almost a year later, having accepted a job as Belgium's national coach, he was fired by Zenit for poor results.


Advocaat started his new job as Belgium's national coach on 1 October 2009. He replaced René Vandereycken, who was fired on 7 April 2009. Franky Vercauteren, his assistant, was in charge until that time. However, on 9 September of the same year, Franky Vercauteren stepped down as Belgian national coach after a humiliating loss against the national team of Armenia.

The president of the KBVB demanded his early resignation as a national coach. He was officially introduced as the new national coach on 22 September during a press conference in Brussels. His first game was won immediately: 2-0 against Turkey. He suffered his first defeat in the match against Estonia, which was lost by the same score.

Advocaat was hired because an "iron hand in a velvet glove" was required to keep the young - sometimes extravagant - Devils in place. The Dutchman made himself heard many times in a short time: he announced after the match against Estonia that some Belgian players were below par and criticised Logan Bailly's attitude when he arrived at the airport with a white bag of a different brand than the sponsor.

Advocaat was also not comfortable with letting the regulars know where they stand. During the press conference, Marouane Fellaini was criticised for not wanting to play the game against Estonia because of dental problems, but he started playing for his club Everton a few days later.

Advocaat cancelled his contract with the Belgian Football Federation on 15 April 2010 and immediately decided to end his job for Belgium. He had a contract until 2012 but preferred to work as the replacement for Guus Hiddink in Russia, in part due to a much higher salary offer.


It was announced on 8 December 2009 that Advocaat would be temporarily taking on the role of head coach of AZ. He replaced Ronald Koeman, who was fired on December 5th, because of poor results. Because Advocaat had certain clauses in his contract concerning a double role, they were willing to lend Advocaat for 150,000 euros to AZ until the end of the season.

Advocaat was instructed by AZ to reach European football. This objective was achieved. Advocaat was replaced by Gertjan Verbeek at the end of the season. Stay tuned to this section of Dick Advocaat biography as we will share some information about the Russian national team career.


Advocaat was appointed coach of Russia on 1 July 2010 as a replacement for Czech Vlastimil Petržela. During his first match on 11 August 2010, the team defeated Bulgaria 1-0 in a friendly match thanks to an early goal by Roman Shirokov.

During the qualification round for the 2012 European Championship, Russia finished first in a group with Ireland, Armenia, Slovakia, Macedonia and Andorra. At the 2012 European Championship, which was held in Poland and Ukraine, the Russians were placed in a group together with host Poland and the Czech Republic and Greece.

During the first match, the outsiders performed well at times, beating the Czech Republic 4-1 without too much trouble. The second match was a 1-1 draw with host Poland. However, in the last match, the Russians lost 0-1 to the Greeks, which prevented them from qualifying for the quarter-finals.

After the tournament, Dick Advocaat left the Russian national team and made his return to coach the PSV Eindhoven club for the second time during his career.

Return to PSV

Advocaat returned as head coach of PSV after the 2012 European Championship, where he took the place of interim coaches

Phillip Cocu

and Ernest Faber. He immediately won a trophy with PSV in August 2012 when they defeated national champion Ajax by winning the Johan Cruyff Shield 4-2.

That was, however, the only award that Advocaat would grab with PSV. They were knocked out in the UEFA Europa League in the group stage, the league title was won by Ajax for the third time in a row and his former club AZ defeated them 2-1 in the KNVB Cup final on 9 May 2013.

Return to AZ

It was announced on 16 October 2013 that Advocaat would be the successor to Gertjan Verbeek, who was fired from his post at AZ. With the team from Alkmaar, the former Dutch national team coach managed to reach the quarter-finals of the UEFA Europa League and the semi-finals of the KNVB Cup. It became clear on 28 March 2014 that Advocaat would nevertheless be departing at the end of the season.

Advocaat was willing to stay with the club, but only under the condition that he could keep working with the same technical staff and that he would have access to a larger team budget. The management of the club was not prepared to fulfil these demands. Towards the end of April 2014, he was considered for the position of national coach of Morocco, but the federation of the North African country ultimately chose former goalkeeper Badou Zaki. Advocaat was replaced by Marco van Basten on 1 July 2014.


Advocaat was named as the new national coach of


on 21 July 2014 and succeeded interim coach Ljubinko Drulović. Advocaat was tasked with leading Serbia to the 2016 European Football Championships in France. His contract was for two years. Advocaat kicked off with a draw (1-1) in the friendly against France, which was followed by a draw (also 1-1) in the European Championship qualifier against Armenia.

He played his third game as coach of Serbia, a home match on 14 October 2014 against Albania, which was abandoned just before the end of the first half on a 0-0 score. Albanian supporters were not welcome in the stadium at the Belgrade encounter, but they flew a drone with the flag of "Greater Albania" (in connection with Kosovo and the Raška region) over the field, which led to a riot. His team lost 1-3 to Denmark on their own field on 14 November. One day later, Advocaat stepped down himself.


It was on 16 March 2015 that Advocaat signed an agreement with Sunderland to lead the club until the end of the season. He was succeeding Gustavo Poyet. Under his guidance, Sunderland had fallen further and further down the Premier League midway through the 2014/15 season. With only nine games to go, the team was in seventeenth place.

Since Christmas, Sunderland had won just once (2-0 against Burnley FC). Advocaat brought Željko Petrović on as his assistant, and in his first match as Sunderland coach, on 21 March 2015, he lost narrowly 1-0 to West Ham United FC through a goal in the 88th minute from Diafra Sakho. However, a game later Sunderland won the tense Tyne-Wearderby against rival Newcastle United 1-0.

Advocaat ignored an offer from the club to remain coach for longer, but a week later he agreed to a one-year contract. He experienced a poor start to the 2015/16 season. Sunderland was in the last place after six matches with just two points. Following the defeat against newcomer AFC Bournemouth (2-0), Advocaat was furious: "I am very, very angry with the players. It's not the first time they played so badly. We have a big issue because the mentality is hard to change."

Before the match against West Ham United on 3 October, Advocaat was hinting at an early departure from


. Following his side's 2-2 draw against West Ham, Advocaat said he had made a decision about his future as Sunderland manager but was unwilling to say whether he would leave the relegation-prone club. One day later, the club announced that Advocaat had stepped down with immediate effect.


In September 2016, Advocaat was supposed to start working for the KNVB again, this time as assistant to national coach Danny Blind. However, in August 2016 he joined Turkish side


to be their head coach as of the 2016/17 season. He guided the team to a third-place finish in the Turkish Super Lig.

Fenerbahce was knocked out on the semifinals of the Turkish Cup by Istanbul Basaksehir FK on penalties. He announced in March 2017 that he would end his career as a football club coach after the season, but would return to it again.

Third Spell with the Netherlands

In early May 2017, he was named coach of the Dutch national team for the third time in his career. He replaced Danny Blind, who had collected only seven points after five qualifying matches for the 2018 World Cup. His aim was to qualify for the tournament.

It was decided that his duties would start only when his club Fenerbahçe would no longer have to play matches, meaning after 4 June of that year at the latest. With the Dutch team, Advocaat defeated Luxembourg (5-0), Bulgaria (3-1), Belarus (3-1) and Sweden (2-0). Only the eventual champion, France, proved too strong (4-0).

The Netherlands, however, failed to qualify for the 2018

World Cup

because Sweden, which went on to beat Italy in the playoffs, had a better goal difference. As a result of the Dutch team's 3-0 victory over Romania in the friendly match, Advocaat became the coach of the Dutch team with the highest number of victories on 14 November 2017 with 37.

He beat the record held by Bob Glendenning, who had achieved 36 victories with the Dutch national team between 1925 and 1940. Advocaat was replaced by Ronald Koeman on 6 February 2018.


The board of Sparta announced on 25 December 2017 that they had hired Advocaat as a replacement for the sacked Alex Pastoor. His task was to keep the team in the


. By then Sparta was eleven points down on the highest division.

Under his reins, Sparta signed AZ players Fred Friday and Dabney dos Santos, and Soufyan Ahannach was also brought in on loan from the English side Brighton & Hove Albion. Initially, Advocaat failed to stop the sporting decline.

Following the home defeat (0-1) to Vitesse, Sparta also suffered a narrow 2-3 defeat at home to fellow Rotterdam team Excelsior five days later, with Anouar Hadouir scoring the decisive goal in the 86th minute.

He and Sparta were relegated to the First Division on 20 May after a 1-3 home defeat in the relegation play-off against Emmen. It had been announced a few months earlier that Henk Fraser would replace Dick Advocaat in the new season, with or without relegation.


An announcement was made on 12 September 2018 that Utrecht and Advocaat had reached a verbal agreement to appoint him as head coach until the end of the 2018/19 season. Under Advocaat, FC Utrecht went on to qualify for the second preliminary round of the Europa League after winning the play-offs for European football against Vitesse.

After Jaap Stam's departure at


on 28 October 2019, the now 72-year-old coach then emerged again as a possible coach for that club.


On 30 October 2019, Advocaat officially signed a contract as head coach at Feyenoord. His contract was until the end of the season and added Cor Pot and John de Wolf as his assistants. He equalled the record held by former Feyenoord head coach Ernst Happel since 1969, by going undefeated in the first eleven Eredivisie matches since being appointed on 16 February 2020, surpassing Willem van Hanegem's feat of going through his first ten duels in the Eredivisie.

Advocaat announced on 21 April 2020 that he had renewed his contract until mid-2021. During the league match against PEC Zwolle on 12 September 2020, he overtook Foppe de Haan as the oldest coach ever in the Eredivisie, at the age of 72 years and 351 days. He managed Feyenoord for the last time on 23 May 2021; they defeated FC Utrecht in the playoffs for a place in the Europa Conference League.


It was on 31 July 2021 that Advocaat, now aged 73, signed on as national coach of the


football team. He signed a contract through the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Style of Play

He is a huge fan of the 4-3-3 system of play and in many of his teams, he used it as his primary system, both its attacking and defensive versions. During his time as Fenerbahce coach, his team mainly played with a 4-2-3-1 system of play.


He is regarded by many fans and pundits to be one of the greatest head coaches in the history of Dutch football.  He is the coach with the highest number of wins for the Dutch national team, which proves his importance in Dutch football.

Dick Advocaat outside Football

As someone who has devoted his life to football and has been active in the game for more than 50 years, there is certainly no time to have any other business outside football and that is the case for Advocaat.

He bought a villa in 2013 for 2.4 million Euros, which at the time made headlines in the Netherlands. The total living area is no less than 565 square metres. In total, there are 9 rooms, including 4 bedrooms and three bathrooms with bathtub and shower. All this is distributed over two floors and an open attic.

Dick Advocaat Personal Life

In this section of Dick Advocaat biography, we will take a look into his personal life, sharing some information about things like

Dick Advocaat religion


Dick Advocaat life story


Family, Children, and Relationships

Dick Advocaat carefully watches over his private life and hardly ever appears in public in female company. Even in the Netherlands, they do not know whether Advocaat has a girlfriend or is married. In his recently published biography, the subject is carefully avoided. It only mentions 'a girlfriend' in passing and a daughter of about thirty from a broken marriage. The name of the daughter is a well-kept secret.


There aren’t any reports of charity activities regarding Dick Advocaat on the English or Dutch media at the time of writing this article.

Legal Issues

Feyenoord and Dick Advocaat are involved in a financial dispute over a bonus clause in the contract of the departed coach. The coach was supposed to receive a bonus for winning European football, but the club is not paying out this bonus. The club has said that they are looking forward to a possible arbitration case.

Dick Advocaat Career Statistics

In this section of Dick Advocaat biography, we will take a look into his career on the international and club level. Stay tuned.


He has played a total of 543 matches and scored 28 goals during his playing days with mostly Dutch football clubs.


Dick has a win ratio of 53.12 percent as he has won 587, drawn 252 and lost 266 of the 1105 matches he has coached his teams as of 23 May 2021.

Dick Advocaat Honors

All of his career awards and titles came when he was a manager, including the Eredivisie, KNVB Cup, Scottish Premier League, Russian Premier League, UEFA Cup and many others.

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