Van Basten to step down as national coach

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THE HAGUE - Marco van Basten is to step down as Dutch national team coach after next year's Euro finals, the Dutch football association (KNVB) announced Tuesday evening.

Van Basten said that when the Euro finals are over, he and his assistant John van 't Schip will have spent four happy years at the helm. The KNVB said they regretted van Basten's decision, but welcomed the timing. "That gives us enough time to find a suitable candidate," KNVB director Henk Kesler said. Van Basten's side was drawn on Sunday into the most difficult group at the finals, having to take on the two World Cup finalists from last year, France and Italy, as well as Romania. 

"That is the most difficult group at the finals," Van Basten said at the time.

[Copyright dpa 2007]

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