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Dutch Football Coach Resigns After Team Fails to Qualify for World Cup - 2001-11-30

Louis van Gaal has quit as coach of the Netherlands national football team after the Dutch failed to qualify for the 2002 World Cup. Van Gaal called it a very sad day for himself. He said it was an honor to be the national coach and his ambition was to be world champion.

The former Ajax Amsterdam and Barcelona coach had replaced Frank Rijkaard last July on a six-year contract. But with some of the best footballers in Europe, the 50-year-old van Gaal was under huge pressure since the Dutch team failed to qualify for next year's World Cup in South Korea and Japan.

Although the first review was not due until next year, talks had been moved forward to clarify his position ahead of the start of the qualifiers for the 2004 European Championship. Henk Kesler of the Dutch football association (KNVB) said it would take its time to find a successor to van Gaal.