Football: Van Basten joins Dutch national team backroom staff

AMSTERDAM (REUTERS) - Marco van Basten has signed a three-year deal to become one of new Netherlands coach Danny Blind's assistants.

The former Dutch international striker was coach of top-flight club AZ Alkmaar but they have agreed a contract settlement with the Dutch FA.

"I had to make a difficult choice because my role at AZ was very much to my liking," Van Basten said in a Dutch FA news release. "Blind convinced me of the challenge of the national team."

Van Basten, 50, previously coached the Netherlands between 2004-08.

As a lethal marksman in attack, he helped his country win the 1988 European Championship held in West Germany by finishing top-scorer with five goals, including a stunning volley in the final that is regarded as one of the greatest strikes in the history of the game.

Blind took over as the number one when Guus Hiddink resigned last month.

He will also be assisted by Ruud van Nistelrooy, another former Dutch international forward.