Rene Vandereycken named as coach of Belgium national soccer team

Rene Vandereycken has been named as the new coach of the Belgian national soccer team, the Belgian football federation announced on Thursday.

The 52-year-old former international will replace outgoing Aime Anthuenis on January 1 and coach the national team until June 30, 2008 with a view to reach the finals of UEFA EURO 2008.

"There will be a press conference tomorrow at which we will confirm Vandereycken's appointment," the FA spokesman said.

Anthuenis stepped down after failing to lead Belgium to the 2006 FIFA World Cup finals, the first time since 1978.

Vandereycken was long considered a favorite candidate to take the job. As a player he played 50 times for the "Red Devils." He played for Belgium at the 1982 and 1986 World Cups and scored in the final as Belgium won a silver medal at the 1980 UEFA European Championship.

Previously he had spells as coach with Anderlecht and Ghent in his homeland along with Mainz 05 in Germany and FC Twente with which he won the Dutch Cup.

Vandereycken became the only realistic candidate after Charleroi coach Jacky Mathijssen and Danish chief Morten Olsen both ruled themselves out of the running.

Source: Xinhua

People's Daily Online ---