Ex-Socceroos Coach Pim Verbeek Has Died
Following a long battle with cancer, former Socceroos coach Pim Verbeek has died at the age of 63.
The Dutchman was appointed to helm the Australian national men's team in 2007, after compatriot Dick Advocaat back-flipped on taking the role.
He was recommended to the FFA by former Socceroos boss Guus Hiddink, who employed Verbeek as an assistant coach when leading South Korea to the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup.
The former Sparta Rotterdam player took over just weeks before Australia began their qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
It was the first time the Socceroos would attempt to reach the finals via Asia, but they achieved it with ease, conceding just one goal in the final round of qualifying thanks to a 0-0 draw against Qatar with two games to spare.
Despite securing a spot at a second successive World Cup, Verbeek's playing style was accused of being too conservative and he was criticised for his dismissive views about the quality of players in the A-League.
A powerful Germany outfit, which would go on to reach the semi-finals, hammered Verbeek's side 4-0 in a disastrous opening match in Durban that also saw Tim Cahill sent off.
A 1-1 draw with Ghana left the Socceroos needing to beat Serbia in their final match to have any chance of qualifying for the knock-out stages.
Goals from Brett Holman and Cahill did secure a 2-1 victory but other results went against Verbeek's side and they missed out on goal difference to bring the coach's reign to a frustrating finish.
Football Federation Australia marked Verbeek's death on Friday, with the association saying it was "deeply saddened" by the news.
Verbeek began his coaching career with Dutch giants Feyenoord in 1989, followed by spells with Groningen and Fortuna Sittard.
He then moved to Japan to become head coach of Omiya Ardija before linking up with Hiddink in South Korea.
Verbeek returned to Seoul after the 2006 World Cup to become head coach, and led South Korea to third place at the Asian Cup in 2007 before stepping down.
After leaving the Socceroos, Verbeek spent the next four years managing Morocco's Under-23 team.
His final job in the game came in 2016 as the coach of Oman. Verbeek picked up his first trophy as a coach, winning the 2017-18 Gulf Cup title.