Rijkaard assumes Saudi reins
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Frank Rijkaard was today confirmed as the new coach of Saudi Arabia, signing a three-year deal.

The Dutchman, who enjoyed great success at Barcelona before a less distinguished spell at Galatasaray, will be tasked with leading the Green Falcons to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™.

Rijkaard has been out of work since leaving Gala in October and has been drafted in after a deal for Ricardo Gomes fell through.

He said: "We have our goals. We hope this will be the kick-off of a very successful period.

"As every journey, you start with the first step. That's what we made today. From now on, we will be planning."

Rijkaard previously coached the Netherlands, guiding them to the semi-finals of UEFA EURO 2000, but really came to prominence at the Barça reins.

He led them to La Liga glory in 2005 and 2006, and also the UEFA Champions League title.

The 48-year-old, who also enjoyed a glittering playing career with the Netherlands, Ajax and AC Milan, is nevertheless taking on a tough assignment with Saudi Arabia.

The Middle Eastern side have gone through 34 coaches in the last 25 years and Rijkaard will hope to make a positive early impression, starting with next week's friendly against Kuwait and the Brazil 2014 qualifier against Hong Kong at the end of the month.