Under pressure former Rangers star Frank de Boer has officially left his post with the Netherlands after stepping down as manager following the nation’s Euro 2020 exit.
There was huge pressure on de Boer going into the tournament with the ex-Ajax, Barcelona and Galatasaray defender not the most popular amongst the Dutch support.
This made de Boer’s exit almost inevitable after the nation crashed out of the tournament at the hands of underdogs Czech Republic.
According to a statement on the KNVB website, “both parties will separate with immediate effect”.
Frank de Boer also mentioned the “pressure” building as he gave a statement following his exit.
“In anticipation of the evaluation, I have decided not to continue as national coach. The objective has not been achieved, that is clear,” de Boer told the KNVB site.
“When I was approached to become national coach in 2020, I thought it was an honour and a challenge, but I was also aware of the pressure that would come upon me from the moment I was appointed, that pressure is only increasing now, and that is not a healthy situation for me, nor for the squad in the run-up to such an important match for the Dutch football on its way to World Cup qualification.
“I want to thank everyone, of course the fans and the players. My compliments also to the management who has created a real top sports climate here on the Campus.”
That 2-0 defeat might’ve sealed de Boer’s fate but make no mistake, the knives were certainly out for the manager prior to Euro 2020.
Before the tournament kicked off, Dutch fans flew a series of banners over the nation’s training centre, creating tension before a ball was kicked.
One of the banners – flying over the country’s training centre in Zeist, Netherlands – simply read “Frank. Just 4-3-3!” [Seattle Times].
Another urged de Boer to start PSV striker Donyell Malen and was a little more personal; “Are you so smart Frank, Play Malen!” it read [Sun].
Naturally, de Boer played three at the back in every game and Donyell Malen started only two of the nation’s four European Championship matches.
Better known for his eleven-year stint with Ajax and four-year spell with Barca, de Boer spent six months in Glasgow alongside brother Ronald in 2004.
Since moving into management he has taken charge of Ajax, Inter Milan, Crystal Palace, Atlanta United and the Netherlands, all with mixed results.
One Rangers star also knows how it feels to be knocked out of the European Championships as his first appearance at the tournament was blighted by a last-minute winner.