Thijs Libregts

Thijs Libregts (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈtɛi̯s lɪbˈrɛxts], born 4 January 1941) is a Dutch football coach and former player, who played professionally as a defender in the 1950s. His daughter Patricia was one of Holland's leading water polo players in the 1980s and 1990s.

Thijs Libregts
Personal information
Date of birth (1941-01-04) 4 January 1941
Place of birth Rotterdam, Netherlands
Playing position Defender
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1958–1962 Excelsior Rotterdam
1962–1968 Feyenoord
1968–1972 Excelsior Rotterdam
Teams managed
19751980 Excelsior Rotterdam
19801983 PSV Eindhoven
19831984 Feyenoord
19841986 Aris
19861987 PAOK
19871988 Olympiacos
19881990 Netherlands
19911994 Iraklis
19941995 Olympiacos
19981999 Nigeria
20012002 Grazer AK
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Club career

Born in Rotterdam, Libregts began his playing career at Excelsior Rotterdam, where he played from 1958 to 1962. From Excelsior he moved to Rotterdam's larger team Feyenoord, where he remained until 1968. After six years at Feyenoord, Libregts returned to Excelsior where he played until 1972 when he announced his retirement.

Managerial career

Libregts' first coaching position was at Excelsior Rotterdam, where he worked from 1975 to 1980. Excelsior were relegated in Libregts' first season, but they won promotion in 1978–79. From Excelsior he moved to PSV Eindhoven, whom he took to second place in the Eredivisie in 1981–82. In 1983 Libregts moved to Feyenoord, where he won a league and cup double in his first season. At Feyenoord Libregts he was involved in a race row after he was alleged to have referred to Ruud Gullit as "blackie" and criticised him for being lazy, though Libregts defended himself by claiming that it was merely a nickname.[1]

In November 1984 Libregts moved to Greece with Aris Thessaloniki, where he remained until 1986. In the 1986/87 season he joined PAOK, but his stay was brief and in December 1987 he switched to Olympiacos. Libregts was appointed as Holland manager in 1988 as he took over from Rinus Michels as coach of the European champions. Holland easily qualified for the 1990 FIFA World Cup, but Libregts was replaced by Leo Beenhakker before the tournament itself.

From 1991 to 1994 he was a coach with Iraklis Thessaloniki in Greece and from 1994 to 1995 returned to coach Olympiacos. Having been dismissed by Olympiakos, Libregts took charge of the Nigeria national football team in August 1998, who he managed until October 1999. After two years out of work Libregts joined Grazer AK in October 2001 where he remained until August 2002[2] and whom he led to the Cup, as well as to the victory in Supercup.

In August 2002 he was replaced by Walter Schachner and he has been without a club since then.


  1. Brian Glanville, Footballers Don't Cry p 4
  2. Die Trainer

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