Former Australia, S. Korea coach Pim Verbeek dies aged 63
Updated 13:38, 29-Nov-2019

Pim Verbeek, who led Australia to the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, has passed away at the age of 63 due to cancer. 

The Dutchman, who is the last coach to have won a World Cup game with the Socceroos, also enjoyed a spell with South Korea before getting his final job as the coach of Oman, guiding the gulf nation to the round of 16 for the first time, at the 2019 Asian Cup.  

As a player, Verbeek spent his entire professional playing career at Sparta Rotterdam before hanging up boots when he was 25, due to injury. 

Football Federation Australia (FFA) chairman Chris Nikou has led tributes to the veteran tactician. 

"The thoughts and sympathies of everyone in Australia's football community are with Pim Verbeek's nearest and dearest at this difficult time," Nikou said in a statement. "Pim made a great mark on Australian football, and is fondly remembered by the people that worked closely with him.

Verbeek's last managerial role was as the head coach of the Oman national team. /VCG Photo

Verbeek's last managerial role was as the head coach of the Oman national team. /VCG Photo

"Pim's record as coach of the Socceroos can only be looked back on as strong, however the outpouring of sincere sentiments since news of his passing filtered through last night highlights the esteem in which he was kept by many." 

Australian legendary goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, who played under Verbeek at the World Cup, wrote on Twitter that Verbeek "was an amazing human being, a true gentleman with an infectious smile. Someone I have had the privilege to call a friend. You will never be forgotten. My condolences to the Verbeek family." 

Australia's all-time leading goal scorer Tim Cahill said "so sad to lose such a gentleman and someone who I respected a lot as a manager and person." 

Rob Cornthwaite, who made his international debut under Verbeek, reminisced on Twitter about working with the Dutchman.  

"Once I was late to a team meeting and I apologized. After the meeting he put his arm around me and gave me a cheeky smile saying 'don't be late again' he was a kind man."