Leo Beenhakker

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Leo Beenhakker
Leo Beenhakker 20 02 2008 (1).jpg
Leo Beenhakker in 2008
Personal information
Full name Leo Beenhakker
Date of birth (1942-08-02) 2 August 1942 (age 76)
Place of birth Rotterdam, Netherlands
Club information
Current team
Trinidad and Tobago (director of football)
Teams managed
Years Team
1965–1967 SV Epe
1967–1968 Go Ahead Eagles (assistant)
1968–1972 BV Veendam
1972–1975 Cambuur
1975–1976 Go Ahead Eagles
1976–1979 Feyenoord (youth)
1979–1981 Ajax
1981–1984 Real Zaragoza
1984–1985 Volendam
1985–1986 Netherlands
1986–1989 Real Madrid
1989–1991 Ajax
1990 Netherlands
1992 Real Madrid
1992–1993 Grasshopper
1993–1994 Saudi Arabia
1994–1995 América
1995 İstanbulspor
1996 Guadalajara
1996–1997 Vitesse
1997–2000 Feyenoord
2000–2003 Ajax (technical director)
2003–2004 América
2004–2005 De Graafschap (technical advisor)
2005–2006 Trinidad and Tobago
2006–2009 Poland
2007 Feyenoord (ad interim)
2009–2011 Feyenoord (technical director)
2011 Újpest (technical director)
2013– Trinidad and Tobago (director of football)

Leo Beenhakker (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈleːjoː ˈbeːnɦɑkər]; born 2 August 1942 in Rotterdam, South Holland) is an international Dutch football coach. He has had an extensive and successful career both at club and international level. He led both Ajax and Feyenoord to Dutch championships and also had domestic success with Real Madrid. At international level he led Trinidad and Tobago to the 2006 FIFA World Cup and Poland to the 2008 UEFA European Championship, both firsts for each nation. His role in Spanish football has earned him the nickname Don Leo, largely due to his fondness of cigars and dry humour.

Coaching career

He has been the coach of several prestigious clubs including Ajax, Feyenoord, Real Madrid, Real Zaragoza and Club América. He has also coached the Saudi Arabian and Dutch national teams. He coached the national team of Trinidad and Tobago in the year leading up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Under Beenhakker's guidance the team managed to qualify for the 2006 World Cup, where the team secured a (goalless) draw against Sweden in its first match of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, and gave England cause for concern in the second match.

From 2000 to 2003, Beenhakker was Director of Technical Affairs with Ajax. In that period he fired coach Co Adriaanse and replaced him with Ronald Koeman.


On 11 July 2006, Beenhakker was appointed as the manager of the Polish national team. Originally, he was appointed to manage Poland until the end of Euro 2008, however, his contract was prolonged until November 2009 and the end of World Cup 2010 qualifiers. On 17 November 2007, beating Belgium 2–0, he managed to qualify with Poland for the European championships – the first coach ever to do so; even in its golden years, the seventies and eighties, Poland never qualified to play in the Euros. On 20 February 2008, he was decorated with the Order of Polonia Restituta by the Polish President Lech Kaczyński. The Order can be conferred for outstanding achievements in the fields of education, science, sport, culture, art, economics, defense of the country, social work, civil service, or for furthering good relations between countries.

Upon Poland's failure to qualify for World Cup 2010, Beenhakker was sacked as coach.[1]


While still in charge of Poland, Feyenoord hired him on 5 May 2007 as an interim coach to lead the team through the 2006–07 play-offs. After his departure from Poland, he was named the sports director of the Dutch club, having signed a contract on 9 October 2009 up to 30 June 2011.[2]

Újpest FC

Following his spell in the Netherlands, Beenhakker agreed on a three-year deal with Hungarian first division side Újpest FC, and was officially introduced as the new sports director of the purple-whites in a press conference on 29 July 2011.[3] As managing director Csaba Bartha revealed, Beenhakker's main duty is to work with the first team; however, they also intended to use his diverse and extensive personal relationships to establish a scouting network across Europe, which could be used in both directions.[4] His contract was terminated in October 2011, after Belgian businessman Roderick Duchatelet, son of Roland Duchâtelet, bought the club.


Beenhakker speaks several languages, including Dutch, English and Spanish. He also learned a few words in Polish during his time as national team manager.

Managerial honours

Real Madrid
(* Won Copa del Rey and La Liga)


  1. Poland dismiss coach Beenhakker
  2. Feyenoord contrató a Leo Beenhakker como DT
  3. "Leo Benhakker az Újpest új sportigazgatója!" (in Hungarian). Újpest FC official website. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2011. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Beenhakker már hivatalosan is az Újpest sportigazgatója" (in Hungarian). Nemzeti Sport Online. 29 July 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2011. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links