Pim Verbeek, the man who guided Australia to the 2010 World Cup, has died from cancer at the age of 63, the Dutch media reported on Thursday.
Verbeek, who spent his entire professional playing career at Sparta Rotterdam before retiring when he was 25, also managed the South Korean and Oman national teams and was assistant coach of the Koreans at the 2002, when they reached the semi-finals, and 2006 World Cups.
Verbeek took over as coach of Australia in 2007, just weeks before the World Cup qualifying began after Dick Advocaat, who had already signed a deal to lead the Socceroos, chose instead to head for Zenit St Petersburg.
Guus Hiddink, who was South Korea coach in 2002, recommended Verbeek who duly took Australia to South Africa in 2010.
They lost their opening game 4-0 to Germany but went on to draw 1-1 with Ghana and beat Serbia 2-1, missing out on the knockout phase on goal difference.
He spent three years as the coach of the Morocco Under-23 team before taking over Oman in 2016, leading them to the round of 16 for the first time in this year’s Asian Cup where they lost to Iran.
At the end of the tournament he announced his retirement, saying it would be his last job in football.