Ruud Krol

Dutch football player and manager

Rudolf Jozef Krol (born 24 March 1949) is a retired Dutch footballer who was capped 83 times for the Netherlands national team. Most of his career he played for his home town club, Ajax, and he became a coach after retirement.[5] Regarded as one of the best defenders of all time, Krol mainly played as a sweeper or left-back, however he could play anywhere across the back line, or in midfield as a defensive midfielder, due to his range of passing with both feet, temperament, tactical intelligence, and ability to start attacking plays after winning back the ball.[6][7]

Ruud Krol
Krol in 1974
Personal information
Full name Rudolf Jozef Krol
Date of birth (1949-03-24) 24 March 1949 (age 74)
Place of birth Amsterdam, Netherlands
Height 1.84 m (6 ft 0 in)
Position(s) Left back, Sweeper
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1968–1980 Ajax 339 (23)
1980 Vancouver Whitecaps 14 (0)
1980–1984 Napoli 107 (1)
1984–1986 Cannes 63 (0)
Total 523 (24)
National team
1969–1983 Netherlands[1][2] 83 (4)
Teams managed
1989–1990 Mechelen
1990 Servette
1991–1993 Netherlands U-21 (Assistant)
1994–1995 Egypt U-23
1995–1996 Egypt[3]
1997–1999 Zamalek
1999 Al-Wahda Abu Dhabi
1999–2001 Netherlands (Assistant)
2002–2005 Ajax (Assistant)
2006–2007 Ajaccio
2007–2008 Zamalek
2008–2011 Orlando Pirates
2012–2013 CS Sfaxien
2013 Tunisia
2014 Espérance de Tunis
2014 Al-Ahli Tripoli
2015 Raja Club Athletic
2016 Club Africain
2018–2019 CS Sfaxien
2020 Kuwait SC[4]
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Club career change

He began his career at Ajax under manager Rinus Michels in 1968. In his first season at the club he did not play much. After the departure of left-back Theo van Duivenbode in the summer of 1969 to Feyenoord, Krol became a regular player. When Ajax reached the UEFA European Cup in 1971, and won, Krol did not play because of a broken leg. Krol did play in the European Cup finals of 1972 and 1973. While others such as Johan Cruijff and Johan Neeskens left for new pastures, Krol, captain since the departure of Piet Keizer in October 1974, stayed at Ajax until June 1980.

He moved to the North American Soccer League to play for the Vancouver Whitecaps[8] for one season. He then joined S.S.C. Napoli where he played for the next four seasons. His last club before he retired in 1986 was the French club AS Cannes, at the time in Ligue 2 (the French 2nd division).

International career change

Internationally, Krol made his debut for the Netherlands in 1969 against England, retiring from international football in 1983. He was a crucial component in the Total Football side of the 1970s. A versatile defender, he could play in any position along the back four or midfield. In the 1974 FIFA World Cup, in which the Netherlands reached the final, Krol primarily played at left-back. He created Cruijff's goal against Brazil and scored a 25-yard screamer against Argentina.

By the time the 1978 FIFA World Cup came about, Krol had switched to playing as a sweeper and had earned the captain's armband after the retirement of Cruijff.

Krol played for the Netherlands as captain at the 1980 European Championship. He played for part of the qualifying for Euro 84, and played his last international in 1983.

Managerial career change

In his managerial career, he has been head coach of Egypt, and has been assistant manager of the Netherlands (under Frank Rijkaard and Louis van Gaal) and Ajax (under Ronald Koeman). He became interim manager of Ajax after the resignation of Koeman. He was manager of AC Ajaccio in France Ligue 2 from 2006 to 2007. He returned as manager of Egyptian giants Zamalek in August 2007. He had previously managed them from 1994 to 1999, winning the Egyptian Cup in 1999, the African Cup of Champions Clubs in 1996 and the Afro-Asian Club Championship 1997, the last two being the biggest club level prizes available to CAF clubs. Krol's return to Zamalek was meant to be a stabilizing presence, the club having gone through several managers in the preceding two seasons. His stay however would be a short one. He ended his sole season by winning one Egyptian Cup with Zamalek, within one season he would leave and sign a three-year contract with the South African giants Orlando Pirates.

In the three years with the Orlando Pirates he won two South African cups (and a finalist once) and won the national league, all in his last year in charge of the team. Those cups include MTN8 and Nedbank Cup. Despite that success his contract was not renewed.

He won the Tunisian championship with CS Sfaxien in 2012–2013, after a fierce battle with the other 3 of the Tunisian big 4. After that success, he was contacted to lead the Tunisian national team in the play off qualifying to the 2014 world cup against Cameroon. He accepted that role and simultaneously became manager of CS Sfaxien and Tunisia in September 2013.[9] He won the 2013 CAF Confederation Cup with Sfaxien. He resigned from his duties as Sfaxien coach after the second leg of the final against TP Mazembe on 30 November 2013. He quit as the national team interim coach following Tunisia's loss in the World Cup play-off.

In January 2014, he was appointed new head coach of Tunisian side ES Tunis.[10]

Personal life change

On 6 July 1972, Krol married Yvonne van Ingen.[11] The couple have a daughter.[12] On 26 September 1974, together with teammate Arie Haan, he opened a snack bar on Reguliersbreestraat in Amsterdam.[13]

Honours change

Player change




Coach change



Orlando Pirates

CS Sfaxien


Raja Casablanca

Ruud Krol in 2005

Egyptian Olympic Team (U23)


Netherlands (ass. Coach under Frank Rijkard)


References change

  1. "Ruud Krol profile – Wereld van Oranje (Dutch)". Archived from the original on 2007-07-02. Retrieved 2020-10-26.
  2. "Ruud Krol". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.
  3. 1996 African Cup of Nations (squads)
  4. رود كرول... مدرباً لـ «الكويت»
  5. "Voodoo, titels en de Dodenstad: het Afrikaanse leven van Ruud Krol".
  6. Salvio Passante (12 March 2009). "ESCLUSIVA TUTTONAPOLI.NET - RUUD KROL: "Napoli sempre nel mio cuore. Sarebbe un onore lavorare per la società azzurra. Bruscolotti team manager giusto"" (in Italian). Retrieved 3 March 2017.
  7. Krol, a Dutch legend in Africa
  8. Ruud Krol.
  9. "Ruud Krol appointed interim Tunisia coach for play-off". BBC Sport. 18 September 2013.
  10. "Ruud Krol appointed new Esperance coach". BBC Sport. 20 January 2014.
  11. Ruud Krol treedt in het huwelijk met Yvonne van Ingen. 6 juli 1972.
  12. Aankomst Nederlands elftal op Schiphol; spelers banen zich weg door menigte, voorgrond Krol met dochter.
  13. Vanmiddag heeft Ajacied Ruud Krol in de Amsterdamse Reguliersbreestraat zijn snackbar geopend. Met zijn ploeggenoot Arie Haan bakt hij hier de eerste bitterballen./Vanmiddag heeft Ajacied Ruud Krol in de Amsterdamse Reguliersbreestraat zijn snackbar.
  14. FIFA XI´s Matches - Full Info
  15. "Italy - Footballer of the Year". RSSSF. Retrieved 6 February 2015.