Pim Verbeek, who guided Australia to the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals in South Africa, has died after a battle with cancer.
He was 63.
The Dutchman, who took charge of the Socceroos in 2007 and helped them navigate through Asian qualifying, was coach of Oman but his effect on the local game was enduring.
Defender Rob Cornthwaite was among many in the Australian football community who tweeted his respects.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/VhzBNZWnD9
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) November 28, 2019
“Saddened to hear the passing of Pim Verbeek. Gave me my @Socceroos debut. Once I was late to a team meeting and I apologised. After the meeting he put his arm around me and gave me a cheeky smile saying “don’t be late again” he was a kind man.”
Commentator Simon Hill echoed these sentiments, tweeting “My world is a sadder place tonight after learning of the death of Pim Verbeek. The kindest, most genuine human being I ever met in football.”
Other high-profile players followed suit.
Very sad to hear Pim Verbeek has passed away. He taught me so much and had a massive impact on my life!
Genuinely one of the greatest people I had ever met. 🙏🏾😔
— Bruce Djite (@BDjite) November 28, 2019
The football world has lost a really great human ! Rest in peace Pim Verbeek ! You will always be remembered here in Australia ! @FFA
— Robbie Slater (@RobbieSlater17) November 28, 2019
Peter Tim Verbeek played for Sparta Rotterdam in two stints between 1974 and 1980, before embarking on a managerial career that including serving as an assistant to Guus Hiddink and Dick Advocaat for South Korea at the 2002 and 2006 World Cups.
He coached Australia in 33 games, for 18 wins (54.5 per cent winning record), nine draws and six losses.
Verbeek’s time in South Africa did not start well with a 4-0 loss to Germany.
But the Socceroos then earned a 1-1 against Ghana and a 2-1 win against Serbia.
The team finished level with Ghana, but exited at the group stage because of its inferior goal difference – and Verbeek left the post soon afterwards.
He later coach Morocco’s under-23s team before being appointed Oman coach.