Frank de Boer

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Frank de Boer
Frank de Boer 2.jpg
De Boer as manager of Ajax in 2011
Personal information
Full nameFranciscus de Boer [1]
Date of birth (1970-05-15) 15 May 1970 (age 49) [1]
Place of birth Hoorn, Netherlands [1]
Height 1.79 m (5 ft 10 in) [1]
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Atlanta United (head coach)
Youth career
1984–1988 Ajax
Senior career*
1988–1999 Ajax 328 (30)
1999–2003 Barcelona 144 (5)
2003–2004 Galatasaray 15 (1)
2004 Rangers 15 (2)
2004–2005 Al-Rayyan 16 (5)
2005–2006 Al-Shamal 1 (0)
National team
1990–2004 Netherlands 112 (13)
Teams managed
2007–2010 Ajax (youth)
2008–2010 Netherlands (assistant manager)
2010–2016 Ajax
2016 Internazionale
2017 Crystal Palace
2018– Atlanta United
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Franciscus "Frank" de Boer (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈfrɑŋg də ˈbuːr] ; [2] born 15 May 1970) is a Dutch football manager who is currently the head coach of Atlanta United. A former defender, De Boer spent most of his professional playing career with Ajax, winning five Eredivisie titles, two KNVB Cups, one UEFA Cup and one UEFA Champions League. He later spent five years at Barcelona, where he won the 1998–99 La Liga title, before retiring after short spells at Galatasaray, Rangers, Al-Rayyan and Al-Shamal.

Association football Team field sport

Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.

Manager (association football) Head coach of an association football team

In association football, a manager is an occupation of head coach in the United Kingdom responsible for running a football club or a national team. Outside the British Isles and across most of Europe, a title of head coach or coach is predominant.

Atlanta United FC American professional soccer team

Atlanta United FC, commonly known as Atlanta United, is an American professional soccer club based in Atlanta, Georgia that competes in Major League Soccer (MLS) as a member of the league's Eastern Conference. It is the most recent winner of the MLS Cup.


De Boer is the second most capped outfield player in the history of the Netherlands national team, with 112 caps. [3] He captained the Oranje to the semi-finals of both the 1998 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2000. He is the twin brother of Ronald de Boer, with whom he was a teammate at Ajax, Barcelona, Rangers, Al-Rayyan, Al-Shamal and the Netherlands national team.

Cap (sport) sports game between two national teams

In sport, a cap is a metaphorical term for a player's appearance in a game at international level. The term dates from the practice in the United Kingdom of awarding a cap to every player in an international match of association football. In the early days of football, the concept of each team wearing a set of matching shirts had not been universally adopted, so each side would distinguish itself from the other by wearing a specific sort of cap.

Netherlands national football team Mens national association football team representing the Netherlands

The Netherlands national football team has officially represented the Netherlands in international football since its initial match in 1905. The national team is controlled by the Royal Dutch Football Association (KNVB), which is a part of UEFA, and under the jurisdiction of FIFA the governing body for football in the Netherlands. Most of the Netherlands' home matches are played at the Johan Cruyff Arena and the Stadion Feijenoord. The team is colloquially referred to as Het Nederlands Elftal or the Oranje, after the House of Orange-Nassau. Like the country itself, the team is sometimes referred to as Holland. The fan club is known as the "Het Legioen".

Captain (association football) team captain of an association football team

The team captain of an association football team, sometimes known as the skipper, is a team member chosen to be the on-pitch leader of the team: it is often one of the older/or more experienced members of the squad, or a player that can heavily influence a game or have good leadership qualities. The team captain is usually identified by the wearing of an armband.

After retiring from playing, De Boer went into management with the Ajax youth team and as assistant to Bert van Marwijk with the Netherlands national team. In December 2010, he took over as manager of Ajax and went on to win the Eredivisie title in his first season. In 2013, he received the Rinus Michels Award for manager of the year in the Netherlands after leading Ajax to their third successive Eredivisie title. [4] The following year, he became the first manager to win four consecutive Eredivisie titles. [3] He then had brief spells managing in Serie A with Internazionale in 2016 and Crystal Palace in the Premier League in 2017.

Ajax Youth Academy

The Ajax Youth Academy is a football youth academy based in Amsterdam, Netherlands, from where the organization manages a total of 13 youth teams. The academy is the primary youth clinic of Dutch footballing giants Ajax Amsterdam. The club depends heavily on the youth academy as they move promising youngsters from the youth teams to the senior team where they can showcase their talent and develop into stars.

Bert van Marwijk Dutch footballer and manager

Lambertus "Bert" van Marwijk is a Dutch football manager who is currently managing UAE national team. As a footballer, he played for the Go Ahead Eagles, AZ, MVV and Fortuna Sittard amongst other clubs, and represented the Netherlands once.

Coach (sport) person involved in directing, instructing and training sportspeople

In sports, a coach is a person involved in the direction, instruction and training of the operations of a sports team or of individual sportspeople. A coach may also be a teacher.

Club career


De Boer was a pallbearer for his Ajax teammate Lloyd Doesburg, who died in Surinam Airways Flight 764. De kist wordt naar het graf gedragen, Bestanddeelnr 934-4731.jpg
De Boer was a pallbearer for his Ajax teammate Lloyd Doesburg, who died in Surinam Airways Flight 764.

De Boer began his career as a left back at Ajax before switching to centre-back, a position he made his own for many years in the national team. He won both the 1991–92 UEFA Cup and 1994–95 UEFA Champions League while at Ajax, in addition to five Eredivisie titles and two KNVB Cups. However, after signing a six-year contract extension with Ajax for the 1998–99 season, he and his twin brother Ronald took successful legal action to have it voided. Ajax had a verbal agreement that if a lucrative offer for one brother came by, he would be released provided the other stayed. Ajax, however, apparently backed down on that agreement after floating the club on the stock market and pledging to shareholders that it would hold both of the De Boers and build around them a team to recapture the Champions League. [5]

AFC Ajax Dutch association football team

Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax, also known as AFC Ajax, Ajax Amsterdam or simply Ajax, is a Dutch professional football club based in Amsterdam, that plays in the Eredivisie, the top tier in Dutch football. Historically, Ajax has been the most successful club in the Netherlands, with 34 Eredivisie titles and 19 KNVB Cups. It has continuously played in the Eredivisie, since the league's inception in 1956 and, along with Feyenoord and PSV Eindhoven, it is one of the country's "big three" clubs that have dominated that competition.

The 1991–92 UEFA Cup was won by Ajax on away goals over Torino.

1994–95 UEFA Champions League football tournament

The 1994–95 UEFA Champions League was the 40th edition of UEFA's premier European club football tournament, and the third since its rebranding as the UEFA Champions League. The tournament was won by Ajax of the Netherlands with a late goal in the final against defending champions Milan of Italy. Ajax won the competition without losing a game, either in the group or the knock-out stage in winning the title for the first time since 1973.


In January 1999, Frank and Ronald de Boer signed for Spanish La Liga club Barcelona for £22 million, joining their former Ajax manager Louis van Gaal at the Camp Nou. [6] After winning the 1998–99 La Liga title, they were unable to repeat their earlier triumphs. In 2000, Van Gaal was sacked by Barcelona and Frank suffered the ignominy of testing positive for the banned substance nandrolone a year later. He was suspended but he was reinstated after a successful appeal. [7]

The Campeonato Nacional de Liga de Primera División, commonly known as La Liga, is the men's top professional football division of the Spanish football league system. Administered by the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Profesional, also known as the Liga de Fútbol Profesional (LFP), La Liga is contested by 20 teams, with the three lowest-placed teams at the end of each season relegated to the Segunda División and replaced by the top three teams in that division.

FC Barcelona association football club in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Futbol Club Barcelona, commonly referred to as Barcelona and colloquially known as Barça, is a Spanish professional football club based in Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain.

Pound sterling Official currency of the United Kingdom and other territories

The pound sterling, commonly known as the pound and less commonly referred to as sterling, is the official currency of the United Kingdom, Jersey, Guernsey, the Isle of Man, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, the British Antarctic Territory, and Tristan da Cunha. It is subdivided into 100 pence. A number of nations that do not use sterling also have currencies called the pound.

Later career

De Boer briefly moved to Galatasaray in the summer of 2003 before joining his brother at Rangers in January 2004. He made a total of 17 appearances for Rangers, scoring two goals. The De Boer brothers left Rangers after UEFA Euro 2004 to play the rest of their football careers in Qatar with Al-Rayyan. De Boer announced his retirement from football in April 2006.

Galatasaray S.K. (football) Turkish association football team

Galatasaray Spor Kulübü, is a Turkish professional football club based on the European side of the city of Istanbul in Turkey. It is the association football branch of the larger Galatasaray Sports Club of the same name, itself a part of the Galatasaray Community Cooperation Committee which includes the prestigious Lycée de Galatasaray where the football club was founded in October 1905 consisting entirely of student members.

Rangers F.C. professional association football club based in Glasgow, Scotland

Rangers Football Club is a football club in Glasgow, Scotland, which plays in the Scottish Premiership, the first tier of the Scottish Professional Football League. Their home ground, Ibrox Stadium, is in the south-west of the city in the Govan district. Although not part of the official name, the club is occasionally referred to as Glasgow Rangers.

UEFA Euro 2004 2004 edition of the UEFA Euro

The 2004 UEFA European Championship, commonly referred to as UEFA Euro 2004 or simply Euro 2004, was the 12th edition of the UEFA European Championship, a quadrennial football competition contested by the men's national teams of UEFA member associations. The final tournament was hosted for the first time in Portugal, from 12 June to 4 July 2004, after their bid was selected on 12 October 1999, over those of Spain and Austria/Hungary. A total of thirty-one matches were played in ten venues across eight cities – Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, Guimarães, Faro/Loulé, Leiria, Lisbon and Porto.

International career

Having represented his national team 112 times, [8] he was the most capped player in the history of the Netherlands national team, until Edwin van der Sar surpassed him. De Boer made his debut for the Netherlands in September 1990 against Italy.

De Boer also played for the Netherlands in the 1994 and 1998 FIFA World Cups, and the 1992, 2000 and 2004 UEFA European Championships. He is well-remembered for the arching 60-yard pass which allowed Dennis Bergkamp to score the last-minute goal that eliminated Argentina in the quarter-finals of the 1998 World Cup. [9] [10] [11] During Euro 2000, hosted in his home country and Belgium, De Boer reached another semi-final with the Dutch team. De Boer missed an important penalty kick in the first half of the semi-finals against 10-man Italy and another in the penalty shootout, which led to the Netherlands' elimination from the tournament. [12]

On 29 March 2003, in a home match against Czech Republic, De Boer became the first Dutch male footballer to gain 100 caps. [13] He ended his international career after an injury forced him to be replaced in a quarter-final match with Sweden at Euro 2004. [14] The injury ruled him out from the semi-final match against Portugal, which the Netherlands lost 2–1. [15] [16]

Style of play

A talented and well-rounded world-class defender, in addition to his defensive skills, De Boer was also known for his pace, technical ability, accurate passing, and leadership, which enabled him to carry the ball of defence, play it out from the back, or contribute to his team's offensive plays by initiating attacks and creating chances for strikers with long balls. A versatile, intelligent, and elegant left-footed defender, with an ability to read the game and intercept loose balls, he was capable of playing both on the left and in the centre, and was even deployed as a sweeper. He was also a dangerous set-piece taker, renowned for his accurate bending free kicks from anywhere around the penalty area. [17] [18] [19] [20] [21] [22] [23]

Managerial career

Entering management

In 2007, De Boer took up a coaching role at his former club Ajax where he was in charge of the club's youth sector. During the 2010 World Cup, he was the assistant of the Netherlands national football team to manager Bert van Marwijk, together with retired player Phillip Cocu. [24] The Dutch team reached the final of the tournament, losing to Spain.


De Boer with Ajax in 2011. Ebecilio De Boer.jpg
De Boer with Ajax in 2011.

On 6 December 2010, after the resignation of Martin Jol, De Boer was appointed caretaker manager of Ajax until the winter break. His first game in charge was a Champions League match against Milan at the San Siro, a match Ajax won 2–0 through goals from Demy de Zeeuw and Toby Alderweireld. [25] De Boer then went on to help Ajax become champions of the Eredivisie for the 2010–11 season in a 3–1 home victory over Twente, the champions of the previous year, on the final matchday, making the first year of his professional coaching career a golden one. "I couldn't have wished for a more beautiful birthday present", said De Boer, as the club's 30th championship was won on his 41st birthday. [26]

In two-and-a-half years at the helm of Ajax, De Boer won three championships, making eight in total (when including the five that he won as a player). According to reports, De Boer was offered the chance to interview for the Liverpool job but turned it down to remain with Ajax. "I am honoured by the request [from Liverpool] but I have only just started with Ajax", he said. [27] In 2013, De Boer received the Rinus Michels Award for manager of the year in the Netherlands after leading Ajax to their third successive Eredivisie title. [4]

On 27 April 2014, De Boer won his fourth successive Eredivisie title with Ajax, the first manager ever to achieve this in the Dutch league. Moreover, it marked the first time Ajax has ever won four successive Eredivisie titles. De Boer has now won a total of nine Eredivisie championships with Ajax as a player and manager, another record; Johan Cruyff, Sjaak Swart and Jack Reynolds all won eight Eredivisie championships with Ajax. Ajax finished the 2014–15 Eredivisie in second position, a massive 17 points behind champions PSV.

On 11 May 2016, De Boer announced his resignation as manager of Ajax following a disappointing season when Ajax again lost out on the Eredivisie title to PSV on the final matchday of the season. [28]


On 9 August 2016, after the departure of Roberto Mancini, De Boer signed a three-year contract with Internazionale for the start of the 2016–17 season. [29] De Boer's first match in charge was Inter's final pre-season friendly, a 2–0 win against Celtic on 13 August, played on neutral ground at Thomond Park, Republic of Ireland. [30]

The club management board also approved expensive signings João Mário and Gabriel Barbosa for the team and De Boer (they were in fact linked to Mancini and Inter in July), [31] and the return to Turkey of recent acquisition Caner Erkin in the last days of transfer window. Gabriel, however, was rarely used in Serie A matches and could not be registered in European competitions due to a penalty imposed on Inter for breaching UEFA Financial Fair Play Regulations in previous seasons.

De Boer's first competitive match was a 2–0 away loss to Chievo on 21 August. [32] After the match, De Boer was criticized for using a three-man defence, a style that he had never used while at Ajax. [32] Milan-based newspaper Corriere della Sera went as far as calling Inter's performance a "disaster". [33] Fortunes soon turned, however, as Inter drew 1–1 against Palermo on 28 August, before winning three games in a row, against Pescara, title-holders Juventus and Empoli. [34] The win against Juventus was highly praised, with De Boer being lauded for substituting Éder for Ivan Perišić, who provided the winning goal. [35] Inter's form would not last long, as the club would go on to lose against Roma, Cagliari and Atalanta.

Inter also struggled in the UEFA Europa League under De Boer, as they lost the opening match 0–2 at home against Israeli team Hapoel Be'er Sheva on 15 September, [36] and 3–1 against Sparta Prague on 29 September. [37] Inter would then go on to finish last in their group with a total of six points, with three points under De Boer and another three under his successor.

Following a run of four defeats in the last five Serie A matches, which left Inter in 12th place in Serie A, De Boer was sacked on 1 November, having been in charge for only 85 days. [38] His last match was a 1–0 loss to Sampdoria on 30 October. [39] Ironically, during a press interview in the annual general meeting of the shareholders of Internazionale on 28 October, CEO Michael Bolingbroke had confirmed that the club was 100% backing De Boer. [40] (Bolingbroke himself resigned a few days later. Liu Jun, vice-president of sister company Suning Sports, replaced Bolingbroke.)

De Boer argued that he "needed more time" in order to make a mark as manager at Inter, and thanked his fans on his Twitter profile for the support. [41] [42] He was replaced by former Lazio manager Stefano Pioli on 8 November, the ninth manager Inter have appointed since winning the Treble in 2010 under José Mourinho. Following Pioli's initial struggles at Inter, De Boer has hit back at the lack of leadership following Suning's takeover of Inter, which he credits for the lack of trust he was given while there. [43]

Crystal Palace

On 26 June 2017, De Boer was announced as the new manager of Premier League side Crystal Palace, replacing the recently resigned Sam Allardyce. He signed a three-year deal with the South London club, [44] [45] but was sacked 10 weeks later when Palace lost their first four league matches of the season without scoring a single goal – the first team in 93 years to have begun a top-flight season in such a fashion. [46] He left having managed the team for only 450 minutes of game time of a Premier League team, making it the shortest reign of the Premier League era (in terms of number of matches, rather than number of days). [47] De Boer's only win came in an EFL Cup second-round game, in which Crystal Palace won 2–1 against Ipswich Town. [46] [48] He was replaced by Roy Hodgson. [49]

Whilst at the club, De Boer attempted to implement a possession-based style of play; after his sacking, he criticised the club's players for their resistance to his approach, arguing that the club had signed only two players to fit his philosophy. [50] Palace winger Wilfried Zaha commented on De Boer's brief time at the club, stating "There wasn't really the right mixture [of players] for the way we wanted to play." [51]

Atlanta United

In December 2018, De Boer was announced as the head coach of Major League Soccer side Atlanta United, replacing Gerardo "Tata" Martino to become the second head coach in the club's history. [52]

Career statistics


Club performanceLeagueCupLeague CupContinentalTotal
NetherlandsLeague KNVB Cup Super Cup Europe Total
1988–89 Ajax Eredivisie 27020290
1989–90 2503010290
1990–91 34120361
1991–92 30130120451
1992–93 3435181473
1993–94 341421161455
1994–95 34930101024811
1995–96 323201191445
1996–97 324001090424
1997–98 3155282449
1998–99 1531060323
SpainLeague Copa del Rey Supercopa de España Europe Total
1998–99 Barcelona La Liga 19242234
1999–2000 2207020122432
2000–01 34371111525
2001–02 34000130471
2002–03 35010143503
TurkeyLeague Turkish Cup League Cup Europe Total
2003–04 Galatasaray Süper Lig 151000060231
ScotlandLeague Scottish Cup League Cup Europe Total
2003–04 Rangers Scottish Premier League 1521010172
QatarLeague Emir of Qatar Cup League Cup Asia Total
2004–05 Al-Rayyan Qatar Stars League 165165
2005–06 Al-Shamal 1010
Career total51943508721251470167



Netherlands national team

International goals

(Source) [54]

Scores and results list Netherlands' goal tally first.
1.5 June 1991 Helsingin olympiastadion, Helsinki, FinlandFlag of Finland.svg  Finland
UEFA Euro 1992 qualifying
2.9 November 1996 Philips Stadion, Eindhoven, NetherlandsFlag of Wales (1959-present).svg  Wales
1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
3.29 March 1997 Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, NetherlandsFlag of San Marino.svg  San Marino
1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
5.30 April 1997 Stadio Olimpico, Serravalle, San MarinoFlag of San Marino.svg  San Marino
1998 FIFA World Cup qualification
6.1 June 1998 Philips Stadion, Eindhoven, NetherlandsFlag of Paraguay.svg  Paraguay
7.4 June 2000 Stade Olympique de la Pontaise, Lausanne, SwitzerlandFlag of Poland.svg  Poland
8.11 June 2000 Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, NetherlandsFlag of the Czech Republic.svg  Czech Republic
UEFA Euro 2000
9.21 June 2000 Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, NetherlandsFlag of France.svg  France
UEFA Euro 2000
10.15 November 2000 Estadio Olímpico, Seville, SpainFlag of Spain.svg  Spain
11.2 June 2001 Lilleküla staadion, Tallinn, EstoniaFlag of Estonia.svg  Estonia
2002 FIFA World Cup qualification
12.27 March 2002 Stadion Feijenoord, Rotterdam, NetherlandsFlag of Spain.svg  Spain
13.19 November 2003 Amsterdam Arena, Amsterdam, NetherlandsFlag of Scotland.svg  Scotland
UEFA Euro 2004 qualifying

Managerial statistics

As of match played 19 May 2019 [55]
Managerial record by team and tenure
Ajax 6 December 201011 May 20162621585747060.3
Inter 9 August 20161 November 201614527035.7
Crystal Palace 26 June 201711 September 20175104020.0
Atlanta United 23 December 2018Present16826050.0




Ajax [56]
Barcelona [56]
Al Rayyan




De Boer was assistant manager for the Dutch at the 2010 World Cup. Frank de Boer.jpg
De Boer was assistant manager for the Dutch at the 2010 World Cup.

Assistant manager




See also

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