Did you know new Caltex Socceroos boss Bert van Marwijk has never lost a match in regular time at a FIFA World Cup?
After his appointment Thursday, van Marwijk will lead Australia to the 2018 tournament in Russia in June.
It will be his second appearance as a manager at world football’s biggest event, having taken the Netherlands to the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
And in encouraging news for fans of the Caltex Socceroos, van Marwijk didn’t lose a single game in 90 minutes at the tournament, winning six.
The Netherlands were perfect through the group stage, beating Denmark (2-0), Japan (1-0) and Cameroon (2-1) to top Group E.
They then saw off Slovakia 2-1 in the Round of 16, before a quarter-final upset of Brazil (2-1) and winning a semi-final thriller against Uruguay 3-2.
Unfortunately for van Marwijk and the Oranje, they went down in extra-time in the final as Andres Iniesta’s goal gave Spain a 1-0 triumph.
Still, it’s a tremendous record the veteran Dutchman possesses as he looks to get the Caltex Socceroos out of a tricky group which includes France, Denmark and Peru in Russia.
Aside from the 2010 tournament, van Marwijk coached the Netherlands in 52 games overall, winning 34, drawing 10 and losing just eight.
In 10 games as manager of Saudi Arabia he managed six wins, a draw and three losses, which was good enough to qualify the gulf nation automatically for this year’s tournament, their first appearance at the FIFA World Cup in 12 years.
Interestingly, van Marwijk has faced Australia four times as an international manager, never getting the better of the green and gold.
In two games as Netherlands boss he lost once (2-1) at home, before a 0-0 draw in Sydney in 2009.
Then most recently as the Saudis coach in the AFC qualifying campaign, he got a 2-2 draw in Jeddah before a 3-2 defeat in Adelaide last year.
As a club boss van Marwijk enjoyed plenty of success also.
He was Feyenoord manager from 2000-2004 and 2007-08 and has managed more Eredivisie games with the club (170) than any other coach, picking up the most wins as well (103).
The 65-year-old was the most recent manager to lead a Dutch team to a major European trophy, winning the UEFA Cup in 2002 with Feyenoord (3-2 win against Dortmund), a match in which ex-Caltex Socceroos star Brett Emerton played.
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