Vale Pim Verbeek

Football Federation Australia (FFA) is deeply saddened to have learned of the passing of former Australia national team coach Pim Verbeek, who has died at the age of 63.

Verbeek, who guided the Socceroos at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa, was most recently the Head Coach of Oman’s national football team at the 2019 AFC Asian Cup in the United Arab Emirates. Verbeek managed Oman in a friendly against Australia in late December 2018. 

In total, Verbeek managed the Socceroos in 33 matches between 2008 and 2010 after being appointed in late 2007. He helped Australia secure 18 wins and nine draws in that time, including a memorable 2-1 win over Serbia in Nelspruit, South Africa on 23 June 2010 – Australia’s second win at a FIFA World Cup.

Aside from coaching Australia, Rotterdam-born Verbeek enjoyed a long and storied career in international football. He managed numerous club sides in his homeland, and enjoyed several stints in Asia.

Along with time at clubs Omiya Ardija and Kyoto Purple Sanga in Japan, Verbeek was an assistant coach to Korea Republic head coach Guus Hiddink  at the 2002 FIFA World Cup held in Korea Republic and Japan. There the Taeguk Warriors inspired a nation by reaching the Semi Finals of the competition.

Verbeek also coached the national teams of Netherlands Antilles, Korea Republic, Morocco (U-23), and Oman throughout his life.

FFA Chair, Mr Chris Nikou, today expressed his condolences to Verbeek’s family and friends.

“The thoughts and sympathies of everyone in Australia’s football community are with Pim Verbeek’s nearest and dearest at this difficult time,” Nikou said.

“Pim made a great mark on Australian football, and is fondly remembered by the people that worked closely with him, many members of the media, as well as the public.

“Pim’s record as coach of the Socceroos can only be looked back on as strong, however the outpouring of sincere sentiments since news of his passing filtered through last night highlights the esteem in which he was kept by many.”

Current Socceroos Head Coach Graham Arnold worked as one of Verbeek’s assistants between 2007 and 2010. Arnold, who remained a close friend with Verbeek after their time together with the Socceroos, said the likeable Dutch coach would be greatly missed.

“In the often cut-throat world of football, Pim was one of the true gentlemen of the game,” Arnold said.

“He was one of the nicest men I have ever met, a true friend, and he had a great relationship with his players and staff.

“Pim was the second coach after Guus (Hiddink) to win a game at the FIFA World Cup with Australia, something no one has achieved since.

“His legacy is undisputed, and he will be sadly missed.”