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Former Dutch star’s vote of confidence for Everton

Ruud van Nistelrooy has some kind words for his countryman Marcel Brands’ project

Soccer - FA Barclaycard Premiership - Manchester United v Everton
Manchester United’s Ruud van Nistelrooy battles with Everton’s David Unsworth and Tony Hibbert
Photo by Mike Egerton/EMPICS via Getty Images

Former Manchester United and Real Madrid striker Ruud van Nistelrooy believes that the Everton Director of Football Marcel Brands is just getting started, and has backed his countryman for long-term success at the Blues.

In an interview with evertontv, van Nistelrooy said he thinks Everton are ready to compete now with some of the best teams in England.

“I’m absolutely convinced that in the long term and already now, the performance of Everton is up there with the top six, top seven clubs on a steady basis. Obviously, it’s a huge target to get into Europe in the Premier League.

“You can already see now with the certain signings that Everton is becoming better every season...”

The Dutch international, who had nearly 300 goals in all competitions in his career, also believes that the future is bright for the club under Brands.

“I think in the long run, it will be a steady club like all of the clubs that Marcel worked for. And I think Everton with the history they have, with the fanbase and the stadium, everything together, that package is something that can be in the top flight, in the top of English football for a long time.”

van Nistelrooy’s association with Brands goes back to PSV Eindhoven when the striker became involved with the youth teams at the club after hanging up his boots. The 43-year-old also spoke about Brands’ work ethic and his planning when it comes to targeting certain players.

“He’s a professional. He knows what he wants in a player and a person, so when he is presenting a plan, you know that he absolutely knows everything about the player and history and how he’s going to fit into the new team with the manager that there is now.

“He kind of connects a lot of dots together and you are quite impressed with the way he knows his details and then, inspirational touch comes into it as an extra.”

Dutch Eredivisie - “PSV v AZ”
Marcel Brands from his PSV days

The forward credits Brands for his interest in taking up coaching as well, and has guided him throughout the process through to getting his badges as well.

“If you asked me as a player if I would ever get into management or training, I would have said, ‘No way, never. Impossible.’

“Marcel was the one who approached me, invited me to come back to PSV and got me settled back here. I owe him that he found me my second passion after my playing career. That’s a great thing he did for me.

“He helped me with everything I needed – my coaching badges, with having a place at the club training the players.

“He guides you through decisions. When we first met, we spoke about what’s next, because I didn’t want to jump into it [coaching] straight away.

“He really guided me through that and now I’m fully back into it with the Under-19s job, which I am enjoying a lot.”

Club captain Seamus Coleman has already started the process of getting his coaching badges and Brands will likely play a similar mentoring role with him as he did van Nistelrooy.