Bert Van Marwijk Biography

Thu 12 August 2021 | 16:30

He managed to guide the Dutch national team to a runner-up finish in the 2010 World Cup. In this article, we will take a look at Bert Van Marwijk biography.

Bert van Marwijk, born 19 May 1952 in Deventer, is a Dutch football coach and former footballer who used to play as an offensive midfielder (winger) or striker. His playing career was spent with Go Ahead Eagles, MVV Maastricht and AZ Alkmaar. He won the Dutch Cup with the latter. In 1975 he played one match for the Netherlands national team.

In the early 1980s, he started coaching and for the next two decades, he was either youth or senior coach at clubs in the Dutch and Belgian lower leagues. He achieved his first success with Fortuna Sittard in 1999, reaching the final of the Dutch Cup.

Afterwards, he spent a total of five successful years with Feyenoord, winning the Dutch Cup, as well as the UEFA Cup, which was the club's first international trophy in 28 years. In addition, he coached two clubs in the Bundesliga: Borussia Dortmund and Hamburger SV.

Between 2008 and 2012 he was the manager of the Dutch national team. He was the third coach in history - after Rinus Michels and Ernst Happel - to reach the final of the World Cup (World Cup 2010) with the Dutch team. However, like his predecessors, he also failed to win the last match of the tournament (0:1 against Spain).

Under his leadership, the national team was ranked first by FIFA (August 2011); they had never been this high before. During his time with the team, he also took them to Euro 2012, but they suffered one of the biggest defeats in Dutch football history there: for the first time since 1980, the Dutch team failed to make the group stage at a European Championship.

All You Need to Know About Bert Van Marwijk Biography

He has also worked as a manager with Saudi Arabia, with whom he won promotion to the 2018 World Cup for the first time in twelve years, and with Australia, which he managed at the same tournament.

Mark van Bommel, former Dutch national footballer (2000-2012) and captain of the Netherlands from 2008-2012, is his son-in-law.

Bert Van Marwijk Information

Now that we know him better, in this section of

Bert Van Marwijk biography

, we will share some general information about him such as

Bert Van Marwijk nationality

to let you know him even more.

Bert Van Marwijk Bio

  • Full Name: Lambertus van Marwijk

  • Nickname: N/A

  • Profession: Professional Football Coach

Bert Van Marwijk Physical Stats

  • Weight: 84 Kg

  • Height: 1.81 m

  • Eye Color: Light Blue

  • Hair Color: Grey

Bert Van Marwijk Football Information

  • Position: Midfielder

  • Jersey Number: 11

  • Professional Debut: 1969

Bert Van Marwijk Date of Birth and Personal Info

  • Date of Birth: 19 May 1952

  • Birth Place: Deventer, Netherlands

  • Zodiac Sign: Taurus

  • Nationality: Dutch

In this section of

Bert Van Marwijk biography

stay tuned as we want to share some information about

Bert Van Marwijk childhood

and more.

Bert Van Marwijk Early Life

He was born in Deventer in central-eastern Holland, very close to the German border. He spent his youth football days at his hometown club

Go Ahead Eagles

. While he was a player in Go Ahead's senior team, he debuted in the Eredivisie, where he previously had played for their junior and youth teams.

Later he mentioned that playing for the club had been his dream since early childhood and that he travelled several kilometres between his home and the stadium by bicycle. At that time, Feyenoord showed interest in van Marwijk, but the club's managers were reluctant due to the player's susceptibility to injury.

AZ Alkmaar

He signed a three-year contract with

AZ Alkmaar

in April 1975, where he played with several Dutch national team players at the age of 23, including Willem van Hanegen, Ronald Spelbos, John Metgod and Eddie Treytel.

His greatest achievements from this period were the 1978 Dutch Cup and a third-place finish in the league twice, in the 1976-1977 and 1977-1978 seasons. He also made his European debut: in the 1977-1978 UEFA Cup, they reached the second round, only to lose to FC Barcelona after a penalty shootout.

MVV Maastricht

Van Marwijk went on - with less success - at

MVV Maastricht

, leaving after a conflict with AZ coach Hans Kraay, having declined to extend his contract with AZ by a year. During his ten years with MVV, the club was not the strongest team in the Dutch league, twice finishing last in the table in 1981-1982 and 1985-1986 and beginning the new season in the second division.

At MVV, Van Marwijk played with Janusz Kowalik, Barry Hulshoff, Søren Busk and Erik Gerets among others, and the club's best performances from this period were promoted to the Eredivisie 1983-1984 and the quarter-finals of the Dutch Cup 1984-1985.

Following MVV's relegation in the 1985/1986 season, van Marwijk departed the club and signed a one-year contract with Fortuna Sittard with a two-year option. Van Marwijk ended his football career with Belgium's second division team, FC Assent.

Netherlands National Team

For the Dutch national team, he played only once: on 31 May 1975, in a friendly against Yugoslavia (0:3). In the 46th minute of the game, he replaced Nic Jansen. He had previously played many games for the youth national team. By his own admission, he had a chance to go to the 1978 World Cup, but the high level of competition and, above all, his susceptibility to injury got in the way:

“At a young age, Coen Moulijn and Piet Keizer were playing in my position, then Rob Rensenbrink and René van de Kerkhof arrived. It was hard to compete with them. Moreover, I had all kinds of injuries from the beginning. When I was 23, I had already had one knee operation, and then four more.”

Bert Van Marwijk Profile

His coaching career started while he was still a football player: in 1982 he was added to the coaching staff of the club he played for at the time, MVV Maastricht. He also completed a coaching course at the time and spent some time as a salesman in a sports shop.

During the 1980s and 1990s, he was working as a junior coach and coach of amateur teams in Belgium (FC Herderen) and the Netherlands (RKVCL Limmel and SV Meerssen). Particularly in the latter, he made a name for himself as - according to his colleagues and former pupils - "a modest enthusiast with outstanding qualifications and commitment to his work".

In this section of

Bert Van Marwijk biography

stay tuned as we want to share some information about his career at

Fortuna Sittard


Fortuna Sittard

After just three games of the new season in 1997, the 46-year-old van Marwijk was appointed coach of Fortuna Sittard in the Eredivisie, to replace Pim Verbeek. This appointment was said to be due to his previous internship at the club and the recommendation of Verbeek, who was transferred to the position of technical director. Earlier, van Marwijk was being considered as a candidate to coach AZ Alkmaar.

With Fortuna, the Dutchman concluded the 1997-1998 competition, which saw the club finish seventh in the table, thus enabling them to compete in the Intertoto Cup. In that competition, van Marwijk's men managed to eliminate Vorskla Poltava (3:0 and 2:2) but were defeated by Austria Vienna (2:1 and 1:3) in the semi-finals.

In the next two seasons, Fortuna finished tenth (1998-1999) and twelfth (1999-2000) in the league respectively, but the highlight of the season was the 1999 Dutch Cup final, where they played for the first time since 1984. On their way, the club from Sittard defeated among others PSV Eindhoven (3:1), FC Emmen (3:1) and FC Twente (5:2). The players scored as many as sixteen goals in five games in the competition. They lost 0:2 to Ajax Amsterdam in the final.

In this section of Bert Van Marwijk biography stay tuned as we want to share some information about his Feyenoord coaching career.


From the summer of 2000, Van Marwijk became the new coach of Feyenoord, taking over from Leo Beenhakker. His first season as coach of Feyenoord was marked by a second place in the league and a quarter-final in the KNVB Cup.

On the European front, Feyenoord was hoping to reach the

Champions League

group stage, but they were eliminated in the third qualifying round by Austrian side SK Sturm Graz. The club did however reach the third round of the UEFA Cup, where they were knocked out by VfB Stuttgart.

During the 2001-02 season, Van Marwijk introduced a number of new players to Feyenoord, such as Pierre van Hooijdonk, Shinji Ono and

Robin van Persie

, who was to become a world star. The club finished the season in third place in the league and was eliminated in the quarter-finals of the cup again.

Feyenoord also failed to advance from the Champions League group stage, but a victory over Spartak Moscow allowed them to finish third and advance to the Round of 16 of the UEFA Cup. Having beaten SC Freiburg, Glasgow Rangers, PSV, Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund (3-2 in the final), Feyenoord unexpectedly won the tournament. In the final at home Kuip, Pierre van Hooijdonk (2x) and Jon Dahl Tomasson scored the goals for Feyenoord. It was the first European Cup for Feyenoord since 1974.

After winning the UEFA Cup, Feyenoord went on to play the prestigious UEFA Super Cup game against Champions League winner Real Madrid in the summer of 2002. Within 25 minutes Feyenoord found themselves trailing 2-0, although a free-kick from Van Hooijdonk in the 56th minute did get Feyenoord back in the game.

In the 60th minute, Madrid made it 3-1, which proved to be the final score. That season Feyenoord again finished third in the


, only four points behind champions PSV. Feyenoord's 2002-03 KNVB Cup campaign was also a great success for the club. The club made it to the final by beating AGOVV Apeldoorn, Vitesse and AFC Ajax.

However, they lost the final 1-4 to FC Utrecht in their own Kuip stadium. In Europe Feyenoord were unable to repeat last season's performance: After making it through to the group stage of the Champions League by beating Fenerbahçe SK, they finished last in the group stage, which meant European elimination.

The 2003-04 season was Bert van Marwijk's last at Feyenoord. The club finished third in the league for the third time in a row and was knocked out of the quarter-finals of the KNVB Cup for the third time in four years. Feyenoord was already out of the UEFA Cup before the winter. In the first round, they narrowly edged out Austrian side FC Kärnten, but were eventually eliminated by Czech side FK Teplice.

It was announced in the summer of 2004 that Van Marwijk would leave Feyenoord after four seasons to join German side

Borussia Dortmund

. In this section of Bert Van Marwijk biography stay tuned as we want to share some information about his first experience in Bundesliga.

Borussia Dortmund

At Borussia Dortmund, van Marwijk succeeded Matthias Sammer, who had left to join VfB Stuttgart. From the very beginning of his time at Dortmund, van Marwijk had to cope with a number of non-sporting problems: the club, which was until then the richest in the Bundesliga, had difficulties with obtaining a licence to play before the 2004-2005 season, furthermore, transfer budget was cut and the coach's salary was reduced from €4 million to almost four times less.

These problems were caused by a huge debt of €120 million, which was revealed in autumn 2004. In the third round of the Intertoto Cup, Borussia was knocked out after a two-goal defeat against KRC Genk, while in the league they were struggling to avoid relegation to the 2. Bundesliga in the second round of the season they won only four games, losing, among others, 0:5 to Bayern Munich.

With some changes in the squad, during the Dutchman's second season at Borussia, the club was still in contention for a place in the European cups, but - as emphasised by journalists - they had no championship ambitions at the time. The task of van Marwijk was to restore sporting stability and he fulfilled it.

In over two years at Borussia, the Dutchman twice finished seventh in the Bundesliga. He was less successful in the German Cup, where the team finished respectively in the third round (defeat against Hannover 96, 2004-2005) and the first round (defeat against Eintracht Braunschweig, 2005-2006).

Van Marwijk renewed his contract with Borussia for a year in June 2006, however, at the beginning of December that year he surprisingly announced that he would leave after the 2006-2007 season. Nevertheless, he did not last until the end of the season; being fired just a few weeks later. His conflict with some members of the Borussia board was the most probable reason for his dismissal.

His departure was also demanded by fans, who were unhappy with his lacklustre style of play, his experiments with players and the 4-3-3 formation forced on him, without the right performers. The Dutchman was replaced by Jürgen Röber.

Return to Feyenoord

Van Marwijk joined


for the second time in June 2007. The club, like Borussia, was in financial difficulties at the time, furthermore, their reputation was plagued by violent fan behaviour, leading to Feyenoord Rotterdam being knocked out of European competition in the 2006-2007 season.

Nevertheless, Feyenoord's squad included many former and current national representatives: Dutchmen Henk Timmer, Tim de Cler, Denny Landzaat, Roy Makaay and Giovanni van Bronckhorst, who was brought in by the new coach; the Turkish Nuri Şahin and the Korean Lee Chun-soo.

Feyenoord was much worse off in the league than during van Marwijk's first job at the club, finishing only seventh at the end of the 2007-2008 season, which guaranteed them to play in the UEFA Cup. He did better in the Dutch Cup matches. Following victories over NAC Breda and Roda JC Kerkrade among others, the team won the trophy, for the first time since 1995.

Netherlands National Team

The 56-year-old van Marwijk became manager of the Dutch national team at the end of Euro 2008, where the


only made it to the quarter-finals, following their victories in the group stage matches against France and Italy. He had been getting ready for the position since January 2008, when Marco van Basten announced publicly that he would not be extending his contract at the end of the tournament and would take a job at Ajax Amsterdam.

Following van Basten's four years as manager, the team's offensive and impressive play was appreciated, but press reports were increasingly dominated by a tone of mutual boredom and fatigue. The appointment of van Marwijk, however, was greeted without enthusiasm: he was criticised for his lack of success and charisma and his commitment to a defensive style of play.

He began his tenure with a draw and a defeat in friendly matches against Russia and Australia respectively, however, in the following games until the start of the 2010 World Cup he never lost a game and won as many as twelve.

He named

Mark van Bommel

to the preliminary squad for the first friendly match on 20 August 2008. At the time, Mark van Bommel did not want to play for the Dutch national football team anymore under Marco van Basten. The Dutch qualified for the 2010 World Cup after winning all of their eight matches in the qualification process.

At the beginning of June 2010, the Dutch national team went to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup finals. The Dutch team finished first in Group E. In the Round of 16, the team faced Slovakia. The team won 2-1, after which it went on to the quarter-finals against Brazil.

They also managed to win this match, 2-1. The opponent in the semi-final was Uruguay. After beating Uruguay 3-2, the team went on to face Spain in the final on 11 July 2010. In that match, the Netherlands lost 0-1.

Upon returning to the Netherlands, he and captain Giovanni van Bronckhorst were honoured by acting Minister of Health, Welfare and Sport Ab Klink, and subsequently enjoyed a cruise through the centre of Amsterdam and a tribute at the Museumplein, which was attended by around 750,000 people.

Under his leadership, the Netherlands reached the top of the world rankings for the first time in August 2011. The team lost this position again in September. On 2 September 2011, the Dutch national team recorded the biggest victory in the history of the national team, by winning 11-0 against San Marino. On 8 December 2011, national team coach Bert van Marwijk renewed his contract until 2016.

The World Cup runners-up not only were among the first to secure qualification for Euro 2012 but also amongst all the teams participating in the qualifiers, they scored the most goals (37). They had won nine of their ten qualifying matches, and lost only in the last one, against Sweden (2:3), at a time when they were already certain to play at the European Championships. Moreover, since the 2010 World Cup, they had won fourteen out of twenty-one matches and recorded only three defeats.

In the Euro 2012, the Dutch played in Group B, which was believed by many observers to be the most difficult group. Apart from van Marwijk's team, it featured Germany, Portugal and


. Unexpectedly, the World Cup runners-up failed not only to progress to the quarter-finals but lost all of their three matches. They suffered successive defeats to the Danes (0:1), the Germans (1:2) and the Portuguese (1:2). The Netherlands' performance at Euro 2012 was their worst since 1980 when they also missed out on the group stage.

In spite of the shocking defeat, van Marwijk was not fired, however, the media were putting forward names of candidates for his possible successor like

Ronald Koeman

, Frank Rijkaard, and others. One obstacle proved to be the coach's contract, which was extended a few months before the tournament until mid-2016. But after a few days of deliberation, the coach himself tendered his resignation.

Hamburger SV

While van Marwijk had said before Euro 2012 that he would like to work for a Spanish or English club one day, following his departure from the Dutch national team he declared that he would not be in a hurry to find a new job. He also didn't rule out a sporting retirement.

At times his name was mentioned in the light of taking up a new job - at Fenerbahçe SK, Sporting CP, VfL Wolfsburg, FC Twente and even the Poland national team in the middle of the 2014 World Cup qualifiers - but eventually none of this news became true.

He was encouraged to come back to coaching more than a year after he parted ways with the Dutch national team: he became coach of

Hamburger SV

in September 2013, which at that time was in second to the last place in the Bundesliga.

Despite having well-known players, a huge budget, a successful start ( in his debut HSV drew 2:2 with Eintracht Frankfurt, then won 5:0 against 1. FC Nürnberg) and pledges that the club would finish the season in the top six, the coach was not able to pull the club out of the crisis: HSV lost as many as nine league games under his leadership and won only three (out of fifteen).

The end of the Dutchman's work was especially unsuccessful when Hamburg suffered seven defeats in a row while conceding a total of twenty goals. The German Cup, from which the club was eliminated in the quarterfinals after a 0:5 defeat against

Bayern Munich

, was equally bad.

The coach claimed that the atmosphere in the team was good and that he needs more time. Nevertheless, these explanations did not convince the board of Hamburger SV, who terminated the contract with the Dutchman on 15 February 2014, for which the latter was to receive, according to German journalists, about 3 million euros. His assistant, Roel Coumans, lost his job together with van Marwijk. His less than five-month adventure at HSV was the shortest in his career as a coach of senior teams.

Saudi Arabia

At the end of August 2015, he was appointed manager of the

Saudi Arabian national team

, with a contract initially for only one year. In fact, the short duration of the contract was one of the four reasons why van Marwijk chose to sign it; while the other three were: the Saudis' football ambitions, a high salary and his independence in building a coaching staff.

As for the latter aspect, the Dutchman took his fellow countrymen Mark van Bommel, Adrie Koster and Roel Coumans to Arabia to help him as assistants, the journalist Taco van den Velde as team manager and the Belgian coach Jan Van Winckel as the Saudi federation's technical director. He was the fourth coach from the Netherlands to hold the position.

At the time, the Saudis faced a serious crisis: they were last qualified for the

World Cup

in 2006 and also failed in the Asian Cup finals. They ranked only 93rd in the FIFA ranking. On top of that, the team had a high number of managers, who changed every few months.

The Dutchman's job was to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, while when he took up the post his team were second in the table of the first round of qualifiers following a single winning match against Palestine. His debut was successful: Saudi Arabians under his leadership won 7:0 against East Timor.

They went on to beat Thailand and the United Arab Emirates, draw with Australia and beat Japan 1-0 in the decisive game. With van Marwijk in charge, they won 19 points in their group, only one point less than the leaders, Japan. They progressed to the World Cup for the fifth time in their history, for the first time in over a decade.

Following the last qualifying match, van Marwijk received an invitation to contract extension talks. Federation authorities demanded that he move permanently to Saudi Arabia and also requested changes in the coaching staff. The Dutch coach refused. His replacement on the same day was Argentine Edgardo Bauza, who worked - unsuccessfully - with Argentina and the United Arab Emirates during those qualifiers.

Van Marwijk said he did not understand the federation's choice and that he had gotten calls from players who told him they could not imagine the World Cup without him. He had been in the job for two years and three days, making him the longest-serving manager since Khalil Al Zayani, who held the post thirteen days longer between 1984 and 1986. He left the national team in 53rd place in the FIFA rankings.


It was announced at the end of January 2018 that he would be

Australia's new national team

coach for the forthcoming 2018 World Cup. Once again, Mark van Bommel was among his assistants there. In their first match at the World Cup finals, on Saturday 16 June, his side lost 2-1 to France by goals from Antoine Griezmann (penalty) and an own goal from Aziz Behich.

In the second match, they drew 1-1 against Denmark. Australia's third and final group game was a 0-2 loss to Peru, which meant they were eliminated from the group stage and finished last in Group C with one point.

United Arab Emirates

Van Marwijk signed a four-year deal as national coach of the


on 20 March 2019 but was dismissed on 4 December 2019 because of disappointing results and not reaching the second round of the Gulf Cup. At the time, he let it be known that he probably would not return to football as a coach. However, he did work as an advisor to Mark van Bommel at PSV.

But on 14 December 2020, a little more than a year into his departure, it became known that Van Marwijk would return as national coach of the United Arab Emirates. On 15 June 2021, the United Arab Emirates defeated Vietnam 3-2 in Dubai. By doing so, the UAE team qualified as a group winner for the next round of the Asian World Cup qualification tournament.

Style of Play

Many football pundits and fans accuse Van Marwijk of having a rather defensive style of play that never entertains football fans. While at the second half of his tenure as the Dutch team’s manager he played with 4-3-3, but after that, he always used 4-2-3-1 as his main playing system.


He is regarded as one of the best Dutch football coaches, who managed to take the national team to a World Cup final. However, his reputation has declined following the Euro 2012.

Bert Van Marwijk outside Football

Van Marwijk is not only interested in football, but he is also passionate and very interested in sports cars.

Bert Van Marwijk Personal Life

In this section of Bert Van Marwijk biography, we will take a look into his personal life and share some info about

Bert Van Marwijk life story


Bert Van Marwijk religion


Family, Children and Relationships

He met his wife Marian in high school. Together they have one daughter, Andra, who is married to Mark van Bommel, a footballer, former Dutch national team player (2000-2012) and its captain during his father-in-law's time as a national coach (2008-2012).

Andra and Mark first met when he played for the van Marwijk-led club Fortuna Sittard. Their first date - as van Bommel recalled - was to the cinema (to see The Truman Show) and to McDonald's. They have three children. Van Marwijk had said:

“When Mark played in Italy, I persuaded him to move to some Dutch club. I wished to be with my grandchildren more often, who I saw once every four-five weeks. In the past, I used to watch them training on the pitch. It was the first time in my life that I had a small camera in my hand to film everything. Being a grandfather is fantastic.”


There are no reports of any charity activities by Bert Van Marwijk in the media.

Legal Issues

At the moment, there aren’t reports of legal issues or disputes to his name in the English and Dutch media.

Bert Van Marwijk Career Statistics

In this section of Bert Van Marwijk biography, we will take a look at his career stats on the international and club level.


He has played a total of 468 matches and scored 72 goals during his time as a football player between 1969 and 1988.


He has played just one match for the Dutch national team and would have played many more if it wasn’t for many injuries he had suffered.


Bert has a win ratio of 53.68 percent with 234 wins, 94 draws and 104 defeats in a total of 429 matches he has managed his teams so far.

Bert Van Marwijk Honors

AS a player, he has won the KNVB Cup and Eerste Divisie with AZ and MVV Maastricht respectively.

His titles as a manager include KNVB Cup and UEFA Cup win with Feyenoord and a runner-up finish in the 2010 World Cup with the Netherlands.

He has received the Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau in 2010 for taking the Dutch national team to a runner-up finish in the 2010 World Cup.

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