Rijkaard leaves Galatasaray

20 October 2010 11:32

Galatasaray have confirmed coach Frank Rijkaard has left the club by mutual consent.

The Dutchman, who left Barcelona in summer 2008, was appointed Bulent Korkmaz's successor at Gala on a two-year contract in June 2009, and guided the Istanbul club to a third-place finish in the Turkish Super Lig last term.

But on Wednesday a club statement on www.galatasaray.org read: "As of October 20, 2010, coach Frank Rijkaard and assistant coach Johan Neeskens have left the club by mutual consent."

Gala have had a disappointing start to the season, with fans calling for Rijkaard's departure after a second successive league defeat - 4-2 at home to Ankaragucu.

The former Holland midfielder and his assistant depart with the team in ninth spot in the standings having picked up only 12 points from their opening eight games.

They also failed to reach the group stage of the Europa League, losing their two-legged play-off on away goals to Karpaty Lviv in August.

"Galatasaray thanks Frank Rijkaard for his efforts and work to date, sharing with us his experience and know-how," the club statement added.

Following an illustrious playing career, Rijkaard was appointed coach of Holland in 1998 and led his country to the semi-finals of Euro 2000 before resigning in the aftermath of the penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy.

An ill-fated spell at Sparta Rotterdam followed, the club suffering relegation in his only season in charge, although it did not seem to damage his reputation as Barca came calling in 2003.

He led the Catalan giants to two Primera Division crowns and the Champions League title in 2006 before leaving the Nou Camp in June 2008.

Source: PA

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