Former goalkeeper Van Veenendaal to work as adviser at KNVB
Former goalkeeper Sari van Veenendaal will join the KNVB as an advisor on women’s soccer. The 91-time international retired as a professional last July after the European Football Championship.
Van Veenendaal said at the time that she was “increasingly looking for the fun moments” in life and that she experienced them “too little in soccer.” Less than a year later, she returned to the sport after all.
As a consultant, Van Veenendaal, according to the soccer association, will be involved in “long-term developments, both in administrative terms and work in the organization that will help women’s soccer grow.”
“I see this as a unique opportunity to orient myself broadly within women’s soccer and hope to be able to add something wonderful to the existing organization with my top athlete experience,” said the former goalkeeper who was named best goalkeeper in the world in 2019.
Director of women’s soccer at the KNVB, Jan Dirk van der Zee: “During her time as an international, we got to know Sari not only as an excellent goalkeeper and leader inside the pitch, but also as a driven professional off the pitch. She has helped women’s soccer with her achievements as well as her personality. From the experience she brings, she knows what it takes to take the next step.”
Van Veenendaal’s soccer career began in 2008 at FC Utrecht and soon FC Twente (112 duels). She played in England at Arsenal, in Spain at Atletico Madrid and returned to the Netherlands at PSV in 2020.
In 2011, Van Veenendaal made her debut in Oranje and eventually made 91 appearances for the Dutch national team. In 2017 she became European champion with the national team and two years later she lost the World Cup final with the Orange to the United States. The last game of Van Veenendaal’s career was the first European Championship game of 2022, when she sat out with a shoulder injury.