Koeman quits Benfica for PSV Eindhoven

May 9, 2006

LISBON, May 8 (Reuters) - Dutchman Ronald Koeman resigned as coach of Benfica on Monday to join PSV Eindhoven on a two-year contract, he announced at a news conference.

'This is fantastic,' said Koeman after deciding to return home for family reasons just 11 months after joining the then Portuguese champions.

'I feel flattered to succeed Guus Hiddink at PSV. It's a club that gives me several beautiful memories. This is the next step in my coaching career and it will be a challenge.'

Koeman took Benfica to third place in Portugal's top flight this season but they failed to secure an automatic Champions League spot.

He took over last June from Italian Giovanni Trapattoni who quit after taking the Lisbon club to their first title in 11 years.

Koeman has the difficult task of following Hiddink after his very successful four-year period in charge.

Hiddink joined PSV in 2002 for a second spell and won the Dutch title in 2003 and 2006, while last season was one of the most successful in the club's history.

PSV clinched the double and only lost the Champions League semi-final to AC Milan on the away goals rule.

An internal power struggle at PSV has seen Hiddink move overseas again, after his successful spell as South Korea coach, to become the first foreign manager of Russia after the World Cup finals, where he will be in charge of Australia.

PSV assistant coaches Fred Rutten, who Hiddink said was his ideal successor, and Rene Eijkelkamp have also left the club to join Twente Enschede.

Media reports said PSV had already reached agreement with Jan Wouters to become assistant coach on the technical staff.