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Feyenoord great Wim Jansen dies at 75

SoccerNews in Eredivisie 25 Jan 2022

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Feyenoord great Wim Jansen has died at the age of 75.

The Eredivisie club, where he spent 15 years as a player before taking up a variety of off-field roles, confirmed he had passed away on Tuesday. He had been suffering from dementia.

“It is with great sadness that Feyenoord has learned of the death of club icon Wim Jansen,” the club said.

“Wim Jansen is one of the greatest footballers ever to play for Feyenoord. He served the club as a youth player, youth coach, assistant and head coach, technical director and advisor and was part of the most successful Feyenoord team of all time.”

Jansen won four league titles with Feyenoord from 1965 to 1974 and lifted the European Cup in 1970, when they won the final 2-1 against Celtic – a team he would later manage. He also captained the side to 1974 UEFA Cup glory before winning a further league title with Ajax in 1982.

He won 65 caps for the Netherlands in a 13-year international career, and was part of the sides that reached the 1974 and 1978 World Cup finals and finished third at the 1976 European Championship. Jansen was once described by the great Johan Cruyff as “one of only four men in the world it’s worth listening to when they talk about football”, according to NOS.

In a varied post-playing career, Jansen would win two KNVB Beker trophies as Feyenoord boss before becoming technical director for the 1993 league title win, helping to restore the club following financial problems.

He enjoyed perhaps his best moment as a coach with Celtic in 1997-98, when they won the double of league title and Scottish League Cup.

Stopping arch-rivals Rangers from winning a 10th successive title, Jansen also secured the signing of Henrik Larsson from Feyenoord, who became one of the club’s greatest modern players.

Current Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou said: “He’s a massive name in Dutch football, both as a player and a manager.

“I’ve often said that, for all of us, we get the privilege of coming through these clubs and our ultimate ambition is to leave some sort of mark or some sort of legacy and he did that in 12 months.

“The impact he had in just one year at this football club is fantastic.”

Former Arsenal and Manchester United star Robin van Persie, who began his professional career at Feyenoord and had guidance from Jansen as a youngster, wrote on Twitter: “We spoke the same language, the language of football.

“Cruyff had his own language, Wim too. He wrote it down in notebooks, which Wim only shared with, in his eyes, real enthusiasts.

“Wim, I am grateful for our hours of conversations and the many wise lessons. Rest in peace.”

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