Leo Beenhakker in 2008
|Full name||Leo Beenhakker|
|Date of birth||2 August 1942|
|Place of birth||Rotterdam, Netherlands|
|Sparta Rotterdam (technical advisor)|
|1967-1968||Go Ahead Eagles (assistant)|
|1975-1976||Go Ahead Eagles|
|2000-2003||Ajax (technical director)|
|2004-2005||De Graafschap (technical advisor)|
|2005-2006||Trinidad and Tobago|
|2007||Feyenoord (ad interim)|
|2009-2011||Feyenoord (technical director)|
|2011||Újpest (technical director)|
|2013-2015||Trinidad and Tobago (director of football)|
|2017-||Sparta Rotterdam (technical advisor)|
Leo Beenhakker (Dutch pronunciation: ['le:jo: 'be:nk?r]; born 2 August 1942) is a Dutch international 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 UEFA Euro 2008, 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.
Beenhakker has been the coach of several prestigious clubs including Ajax, Feyenoord, Real Madrid, Real Zaragoza and Club América. He has also coached the national teams of Saudi Arabia, Poland and the Netherlands. He coached the Trinidad and Tobago national team 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 0-0 draw against Sweden in their first match, and gave England cause for concern in the second match.
On 11 July 2006, Beenhakker was appointed as the manager of the Poland national team. Originally, he was appointed to manage Poland until the end of UEFA Euro 2008, however his contract was extended until November 2009, the end of qualifying for the 2010 World Cup. On 17 November 2007, after Poland defeated Belgium 2-0, he managed to qualify Poland for the UEFA European Championship for their first time - even in Poland's "golden years" of the 1970s and '80s, the nation never qualified for the Euro final stages. On 20 February 2008, Beenhakker was decorated with the Order of Polonia Restituta by President of Poland Lech Kaczy?ski. The Order is 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. However, after Poland's failure to qualify for the 2010 World Cup, Beenhakker was sacked.
While still in charge of Poland, Feyenoord hired Beenhakker on 5 May 2007 as an interim coach to lead the club through the 2006-07 play-offs. After his departure from Poland, he was named the sports director of the club, signing a contract on 9 October 2009 lasting until 30 June 2011.
Following his spell in the Netherlands, Beenhakker agreed on a three-year deal with Hungarian first division side Újpest, and was officially introduced as the new sports director of the purple-whites in a press conference on 29 July 2011. As managing director Csaba Bartha revealed, Beenhakker's main duty was to work with the first team. However, the club also intended to use his diverse and extensive personal relationships to establish a scouting network across Europe, which could be used in both directions. His contract was terminated in October 2011, after Belgian businessman Roderick Duchatelet, son of Roland Duchâtelet, purchased the club.
Since November 2017, Beenhakker has been technical advisor at Sparta Rotterdam.