Istanbul (AFP) – Istanbul giants Fenerbahce on Friday named former Netherlands and Barcelona midfielder Phillip Cocu as their manager, as they seek to again have an impact on Turkish and European football.
Cocu, who has spent the last half decade as manager of PSV in his native Eindhoven, replaces Aykut Kocaman, who paid the price for failing to win the Turkish league last season.
Cocu has signed a three year contract, Fenerbahce said in a statement.
Meanwhile, PSV announced on their web site that another former Netherlands and Barcelona midfielder, Mark van Bommel, who is currently an assistant coach on the Australian World Cup team, would take over as manager.
“An era has come to an end,” PSV said, adding that the third league title in four years was “a fitting farewell.”
At Fenerbahce, major changes are expected after tycoon Ali Koc earlier this month ended Aziz Yildirim’s two decade stint as chairman in what was seen by experts as seismic shift in the Turkish game.
Koc had already brought in Damien Comolli, who had worked in the past with Arsenal, Tottenham and Liverpool, as director of football.
“I am very impressed by the plans the club has for the near future,” Fenerbahce quoted Cocu as saying.
“Fenerbahce is a great club and the ideas and vision that Ali Koc and Damien Comolli both explained to me are very promising,” he added.
Koc, who hails from one of Turkey’s richest industrial dynasties, said that Cocu had stood out among all the candidates in the search led by Comolli.
“The criteria that we looked for in the coach was having an attacking and exciting playing style, ability to develop players, always putting the team first,” Koc added.
Koc wants the side to again become a Turkish football superpower after thin pickings in recent years, their last Super Lig victory coming in 2014.
Cocu has little time to ease into his new challenge with Fenerbahce playing their first leg in the Champions League third qualifying round in early August.