Monday 21 January 2019

Van Basten quits

Marco van Basten stepped down as coach of AZ Alkmaar yesterday, saying he could no longer cope with the stress, but will stay at the Dutch club after swapping jobs with his assistant Alex Pastoor.

The club had announced on Monday that the former European Footballer of the Year was returning from a brief leave of absence.

But in a dramatic twist to the saga, the 49-year-old told a news conference that stress, which led to heart palpitations, meant he could no longer work as head coach and would never again do so.

"The stress I experienced as a head coach was much more than I would have liked," he said, adding that he had suffered no physical discomfort over the past three weeks.

"It (the palpitations) has happened to me several times over the last years. I thought I could overcome it and that things would get better," he said.

"I worked hard at recovery. I wanted to keep going but they kept coming back."

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