Patrick Kluivert embarks on managerial career in Curaçao
WILLEMSTAD - Patrick Kluivert has traveled more than 4,000 miles to Curaçao on Sunday to start his managerial career in one of football's most unusual outposts.
Given the opportunity, Kluivert agreed to take up the post of managing Curaçao's soccer team where his mother came from. Curaçao will be the underdog against Barbados on Tuesday and Dominican Republic four days later in the Gold Cup.
Kluivert, who has worked at youth and assistant level for three Dutch clubs besides working with Louis van Gaal for the Holland national side for two years until 2014, says: 'My ambition of course is to be coach for a club. Curaçao know that, I wouldn't want to do both jobs at the same time.
'If there is a nice opportunity to join a club in the Premier League or Championship, I'd look at it. I have people keeping an eye out for opportunities.
'I've got my coaching licences, many of my contemporaries have been given a chance somewhere and I'm sure that my chance will come in the near future.'
Given Kluivert's outstanding record as a player and his previous coaching experience, it does seem strange that he has had to come to Curaçao to get a managerial job.
Asked whether he thought race was a factor in not being interviewed for a club job, Kluivert says: 'It's a good question and very difficult for me to answer. Maybe. Even if you are black, yellow, green, everyone is the same. I have the same licence as other people, so I cannot imagine that skin colour is an issue here.
'I have played at the big clubs in the world, I have been assistant to Van Gaal, a coach at FC Twente, now I want to prove it on the main stage.'