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Top 5 Legends who played and managed at the Euros

TOP CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
Published Jun 04, 2016
Jun 04, 2016 IST

#2 Frank Rijkaard

Frank Rijkaard.jpg
Frank Rijkaard after winning the European Championship in 1988

As player:

Frank Rijkaard at the peak of his power, was one of the most complete midfielders of his generations, often regarded in fact, as the best defensive midfielder around. His European Championship legacy, however, saw him eke out a niche for himself as a central defender.

For Netherlands in the dream run of 1988, Frank Rijkaard played partner to Ronald Koeman in defense as the Oranje fought their way into the semi-finals where the Dutch defeated the West Germans for the first time in competitive football.  In the final, Rijkaard along with Koeman kept the Soviet Union from scoring as Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit powered them to the coveted trophy.

Frank Rijkaard returned to the Euros in 1992, during which the Dutch conceded only once in the group stages with Rijkaard scoring against the Germans. Rijkaard would score again in the semi-final with his late strike taking the Danish team into extra time. Rijkaard would score again in the penalty shootout to follow but the Dutch were eliminated after the Danes converted all their penalties and Van Basten missed his.

As Manager

Under Frank Rijkaard, the Oranje were lauded for playing some fine football. The beauty of their game was brought to the European Championships in the year 2000 when Frank Rijkaard’s charges won all three of their group stage games beating the French 3-2, Czech Republic 1-0 and the Danish side 3-0 to move into the quarter-finals.

The Quarter Finals saw the team play some exquisite football as they dispatched Yugoslavia 6-1, the tournament's biggest win. In the Semi Finals, however, Rijkaard and his men met with heartbreak with Dino Zoff’s Italy inspired by Francesco Toldo in goal beating the Netherlands 3-1 on penalties after holding them to a goalless draw after extra time. The Dutch loss was even more excruciation as it was their home tournament and had missed two penalties in regulation time.

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