Willem van Hanegem

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Willem van Hanegem
Van Hanegem in 2008
Personal information
Full name Willem van Hanegem
Date of birth (1944-02-20) 20 February 1944 (age 79)
Place of birth Breskens, Netherlands
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Position(s) Midfielder
Youth career
1958–1962 Velox SC
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1962–1966 Velox SC 109 (39)
1966–1968 Xerxes 68 (32)
1968–1976 Feyenoord 247 (88)
1976–1979 AZ'67 75 (10)
1979 Chicago Sting 27 (6)
1979–1981 FC Utrecht 54 (3)
1981–1983 Feyenoord 51 (2)
Total 631 (180)
National team
1968–1979[1] Netherlands 52 (6)
Teams managed
1990–1992 USV Holland
1990–1991 FC Wageningen
1992–1995 Feyenoord
1995–1996 Al-Hilal
1997–1999 AZ
2001 Sparta Rotterdam
2002–2004 Netherlands (assistant)
2007–2008 FC Utrecht
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Willem "Wim" van Hanegem (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈʋɪləm ˈʋɪm vɑn ˈɦaːnəɣɛm]; born 20 February 1944) is a Dutch former football player and coach who played as a midfielder. In a playing career spanning over 20 years, he won several domestic honours in the Netherlands, as well as a European Cup and a UEFA trophy, all with Feyenoord. He was also a finalist in the 1974 FIFA World Cup. As a manager, he won the league and cup with Feyenoord and spent a period as the Dutch national team's assistant coach. His most recent job as manager was for FC Utrecht, from 2007 to 2008.

Complete midfielder, he played as a playmaker in front of the defense. For his arched legs, always slightly bent, the particular and ungainly gait, with his chin on his chest, Van Hanegem was nicknamed "de Kromme", which can be translated as "the hunchback" or "the hunchback". Strong character, rocky and fearless in tackling, he stood for tactical clarity, perfect throws with the outside of the left foot (he was also called "Crooked", "the backhand"), assists and decisive goals, often on free-kick. His ability to transform set pieces is of singular importance: with only one or two running steps he managed to score in free kicks, giving the ball extremely high speed. The only shortcoming of him was a certain and lack of rhythm. He is widely considered as one of the best Dutch football players in history.

Early life[change | change source]

He grew up in Utrecht with his mother Anna and three brothers, after the massacre in his native country in which he lost his father, three brothers and other relatives. In the summer of 1944 the German army was fleeing north from Calais to the Netherlands. On 11 September the Allies bombed the Wehrmachtnear Breskens. Father Lo and brother Izaak hid in a shelter that was shot and both died. Van Hanegem then lost another brother and sister during the war.

Club career[change | change source]

Van Hanegem in 1964

After promotion to the Eerste divisie in 1962, he belonged to the squad of semi-professionals of the league team, which, however, continued to be overshadowed by the "big" Utrecht clubs DOS and Elinkwijk. He played with Velox in the second division for four years before moving to Rotterdam in 1966 for the newly promoted Eredivisie XerxesDZB, who finished tenth in their first season. In 1968 he went to local rivals Feijenoord and celebrated his greatest successes with this club. He was Dutch champion in 1969, 1971 and 1974. In 1970, with Feyenoord, and became the first Dutch club to win the European Cup, before arch-rivals Ajax Amsterdam's heyday started. In the Milan final, his side beat Celtic Glasgow 2-1. In 1974 he won not only the championship with Feyenoord, but also the UEFA Cup in the final against Tottenham Hotspur. Van Hanegem was known as a tactically skilled midfielder with fine passing. In 1976 he moved to Dutch league rivals AZ Alkmaar for three years and wanted to end his career in the USA with Chicago Sting in 1979. However, he returned to the Netherlands that same year, playing for FC Utrecht until 1981 and again for Feyenoord until 1983.

International career[change | change source]

Van Hanegem made his national team debut against Scotland on 30 May 1968, At the World Cup in 1974 in Germany and also in qualifying for this tournament van Hanegem was a regular player. In the Dutch 4-3-3 system, he usually played in left midfield next to Neeskens and behind Rensenbrink, including in the final, which the Netherlands lost to Germany 2-1, Van Hanegem was known for rough, passionate play against German sides (before the 1974 final, he exhorted the Dutch side to "stuff the Germans"). "I don't like Germans. Everytime I played against German players, I had a problem because of the war." After the game (with Germany winning 2–1) Van Hanegem left the field in tears. Two years later he finished third at the 1976 UEFA European Football Championship in Yugoslavia where he was sent off in the semi-final against Czechoslovakia. He was omitted to be selected for the Dutch during the 1978 FIFA World Cup in Argentina along with Hugo Hovenkamp, Johan Cruyff and Willy van de Kuijlen. He played his last international match against Belgium in 1979.

Coaching career[change | change source]

After ending his playing career, he first became an assistant coach in 1983 at Feyenoord. He was later head coach at AZ Alkmaar, Sparta Rotterdam and also at Feyenoord from 1992 to 1995, where he won the league once (1993) and the cup twice (1994 and 1995). He was sacked in October 1995 and shortly thereafter transferred to Saudi Arabia, where he took over Al-Hilal for one season.

He worked for the Dutch Football Association as coach of the amateur national team in 1991–92 and he was assistant coach to Dick Advocaat in the Netherlands national team from 2002 to 2004.

From July 2007 to December 2008 he was the manager of the Dutch first division club FC Utrecht.

Honours[change | change source]

Van Hanegem in 1978

Player[change | change source]





Manager[change | change source]


References[change | change source]

  1. "Willem van Hanegem – International Appearances". The Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation.
  2. "Het vrije volk : democratisch-socialistisch dagblad". Retrieved 6 April 2015.

Other websites[change | change source]