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Leo Beenhakker
Leo Beenhakker
Personal information
Date of birth 2 August 1942 (1942-08-02) (age 67)
Place of birth Rotterdam, Netherlands
Club information
Current club Feyenoord
Teams managed
Years Team
1972–1975 SC Cambuur
1975–1976 Go Ahead Eagles
1979–1981 AFC Ajax
1981–1984 Real Zaragoza
1985 FC Volendam
1985–1986 Netherlands
1986–1989 Real Madrid
1989–1991 AFC Ajax
1990 Netherlands
1992 Real Madrid
1992–1993 Grasshopper-Club Zürich
1993–1994 Saudi Arabia
1994–1995 Club América
1995–1996 İstanbulspor A.Ş.
1996 Guadalajara
1996–1997 Vitesse
1997–2000 Feyenoord Rotterdam
2000–2003 AFC Ajax (Technical director)
2003–2004 Club América
2004–2005 De Graafschap
2005–2006 Trinidad and Tobago
2006–2009 Poland
2007 Feyenoord (ad interim)
2009 Feyenoord (Technical Director)

Leo Beenhakker (born 2 August 1942 in Rotterdam, Zuid-Holland) is an international Dutch football coach, who is the current Technical Director of Feyenoord.


Coaching career

He has been the coach of several prestigious clubs including Ajax, Feyenoord, Real Madrid, Real Zaragoza and Club América. He has also coached the Saudi Arabian and Dutch national teams. He coached the national team of Trinidad and Tobago in the year leading up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Under Beenhakker's guidance the team managed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, where the team secured a (goalless) draw against Sweden in its first match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and gave England cause for concern in the second match.

From 2000 to 2003 Beenhakker was Director of Technical Affairs with Ajax. In that period he fired coach Co Adriaanse and replaced him with Ronald Koeman.

Because he has been active in Spanish football he has the nickname "Don Leo". He is famous for his fondness of cigars and his dry humor.



On 11 July 2006, Beenhakker was appointed as the manager of the Polish national football team. Originally, he was appointed to manage Poland until the end of Euro 2008, however, his contract was prolonged until November 2009 and the end of World Cup 2010 qualifiers.

Feyenoord hired him on 5 May 2007 to coach the team through the 2006–07 play-offs.

On 17 November 2007, beating Belgium 2–0, he managed to qualify with Polish national team to 2008 European Football Championship - the first coach ever to do so; even in its golden years, the seventies and eighties, Poland never qualified to play in the European Football Championship.

On 20 February 2008, he was decorated with the Order of Polonia Restituta by the Polish President Lech Kaczyński. The Order can be conferred for outstanding achievements in the fields of education, science, sport, culture, art, economics, defense of the country, social work, civil service, or for furthering good relations between countries.[1]

Upon Poland's failure to qualify for World Cup 2010, Beenhakker was sacked as coach.[2]

After his departure as Head Coach from Poland national football team, he was named as the new Sports Director of Feyenoord, having signed a contract on 9 October 2009 up to 30 June 2011.[3]


Beenhakker is a polyglot who speaks several languages, including Dutch, English and Spanish. He also learned a little Polish during his time as national team manager.



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