Phillip Cocu


Phillip Cocu

Infobox Football biography
playername = Phillip Cocu


dateofbirth = birth date and age|1970|10|29
cityofbirth = Eindhoven
countryofbirth = Netherlands
height = height|m=1.82
position = Defender / Midfielder (Retired)
currentclub = Netherlands (assistant manager) PSV Eindhoven (youth coach)
youthyears = 1988–1990
youthclubs = AZ Alkmaar
years = 1988–1990 1990–1995 1995–1998 1998–2004 2004–2007 2007–2008
clubs = AZ Vitesse PSV FC Barcelona PSV Al-Jazira Club
caps(goals) = 050 0(7) 137 (25) 095 (31) 205 (31) 094 (23) 013 0(5)
nationalyears = 1996–2006
nationalteam = Netherlands
nationalcaps(goals) = 101 (10)
manageryears = 2008–
managerclubs = Netherlands (assistant manager)

Phillip John William Cocu (born October 29, 1970 in Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant) is a former Dutch football midfielder who is currently an assistant manager of the Dutch national team. He is also picking up experience as a coach with the youth teams of PSV Eindhoven, as part of the KNVB national coaching course.

Cocu was a versatile player, being able to play in defense or midfield, in more than one position, but usually plays a central playmaker role or defensive midfield, dictating his team's play. He best known for his tackling, vision, and wonderful teamwork.

Career

Early career / AZ

He first started out playing football at amateur level with clubs like AFC '34 and DCS Zevenaar. He signed his first professional contract with AZ Alkmaar in the 1988/1989 season when he was 17 years old. After an encouraging start at the club, he joined Vitesse Arnhem in 1990.

Vitesse

His career at Vitesse was blighted by him breaking his right leg in his first game against Sparta Rotterdam. After fully recovering in 1992 he assisted his club to a top five finish in the Eredivisie and a qualification spot for the UEFA Cup competition. Ajax Amsterdam tried to sign him twice when he was at Vitesse, but it was Dick Advocaat who signed him for PSV Eindhoven in 1995.

PSV Eindhoven

During his tenure at PSV, he won one Eredivisie league title. With international team colleagues such as Jaap Stam, Arthur Numan, Boudewijn Zenden and Wim Jonk all forming the core of the squad, he was also teammate of Ronaldo and Luc Nilis.

FC Barcelona

Having played some of his finest football at PSV, Cocu moved to La Liga giants FC Barcelona after the World Cup in 1998. Louis van Gaal who coached Barcelona at that time also signed many Dutch World Cup players such as Frank de Boer, Ronald de Boer, Patrick Kluivert, Boudewijn Zenden, Ruud Hesp, Michael Reiziger, Winston Bogarde as well as Marc Overmars in 2000 and the Spanish team, who was soon nicknamed 'Oranje Barcelona' or 'Ajax Barcelona', where crowned league champions in 1997-1998 and 1998-1999.

In the following seasons, while most of the Dutch contingent at Barcelona, like the De Boer brothers and Zenden, were transferred, Cocu managed to stay with the club. By the start of the 2003-2004 season, Kluivert, Reiziger, Overmars, Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Cocu were the remaining Dutch players (Edgar Davids would join halfway during the season on loan from Juventus). The man in charge was another Dutchman, Frank Rijkaard.

In February 2005, Cocu was honoured by FC Barcelona and the Camp Nou faithful with a hearty ovation before the start of a match, and president Joan Laporta presented the player with a plaque to commemorate his career, highlighting his dedication and loyalty to the club. Cocu holds the record of appearances for FC Barcelona as a foreign player, with 292 overall appearances.

Return to PSV

Although he was proposed a new contract, Cocu left FC Barcelona before the start of Euro 2004 for his old club PSV. With PSV, Cocu lead the team to three championships in just three years. In what would become his final match for PSV, on April 29, 2007, Cocu sealed PSV's Eredivisie win by scoring the fifth goal against Vitesse, thereby finishing above Ajax, who at that point were virtual champions on goal difference. Cocu left the club at the end of the season, and on August 15, 2007, he signed for Al-Jazira Club for one year.

International career

It was at PSV that Cocu got first called-up to the national squad, and he was handed his debut in a friendly on 24 April 1996 against Germany. He was then selected in the final squad for Euro 96.

By 1998, Cocu was a permanent fixture in the national side and was selected by Guus Hiddink for the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France where he scored two goals in the group stage. Cocu was used in a variety of different positions in that tournament. An example would be in the semi-final against Brazil where he filled in at left-back, as incumbent Numan was suspended and substitute Bogarde suffered a serious knee injury during a training session prior to the match.

Cocu represented his country in Euro 2000 on home ground and also played in Euro 2004 in Portugal. In the latter, Cocu was captain of the Dutch side, but after the tournament new coach Marco van Basten handed the captain's armband over to Davids, and later to Edwin van der Sar. With Cocu in a pivotal role in midfield, in 2004-2005, the Netherlands won 10 out of their 12 qualifying games enroute to qualification for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Cocu retired from the national team after that tournament, having appeared in all four of the Netherlands' games. In April 2008, he was offered a role as assistant coach of the national team. [ [http://www.thenational.ae/article/20080417/SPORT/147381915 Cocu set to retire for a new Dutch role] ]

Career Stats

Honours

* Champion of Netherlands: 1997, 2005, 2006, 2007
* Champions of Spain: 1999
* Dutch Cup: 1996, 2005
* Dutch Super Cup: 1996, 1997
* European Super Cup: 1998
* Gulf champions league: 2007

References

External links

*FIFA player|161077
* [http://www.pbase.com/tvw/football Cocu photos by Tvw]
*wvo|457


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