Rijkaard

REUTERS

FORMER Dutch national coach Frank Rijkaard has signed a multi-year deal with Spanish side Barcelona, it was reported. He takes over from Serbian coach Radomir Antic at Barcelona who ended a disappointing season on a high note, clinching a UEFA Cup berth at the last moment.

New Barcelona president Joan Laporta was under pressure to bring in a new manager and player after being outmanoeuvred by rivals Real Madrid for the signing of Manchester United's David Beckham.

Rijkaard, 40, was coach of the Dutch national team from 1998 to 2000 and Sparta Rotterdam from 2001 to 2002. Rijkaard becomes the fourth Dutch coach at Barca, following Johan Cruyff, Louis van Gall and Rinus Michels.

Van Gaal had two spells at Barcelona who replaced him with Antic in January. Cruyff is the most successful manager in Barcelona history winning four consecutive league titles and the Champions Cup in an eight-year span.

Rijkaard won 73 caps for Holland. He played for Ajax, Sporting Lisbon, Spanish side Real Zaragoza and won three European Cups with AC Milan. He also won the European Cup Winners' Cup with Ajax.