Former Socceroos World Cup coach Pim Verbeek has died at the age of 63 following a four-year battle with cancer.
The Dutchman was appointed in 2007 after compatriot Dick Advocaat back-flipped on taking the role.
He was recommended to the FFA by former Socceroos boss Guus Hiddink, who employed Verbeek as an assistant coach when leading South Korea to the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup.
The former Sparta Rotterdam player took over just weeks before Australia began their qualifying campaign for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
It was the first time the Socceroos would attempt to reach the finals via Asia, but they achieved it with ease, conceding just one goal in the final round of qualifying thanks to a 0-0 draw against Qatar with two games to spare.
Regarded by many as one of the genuinely nicest guys in football, news of Verbeek’s death has rocked the sport.
Former Socceroos stars who played under Verbeek, including Tim Cahill, led the many tributes to the former coach.
So sad to lose such a gentleman and someone who I respected alot as a manager and person. Rest in peace Pim Verbeek 🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/HM553EyEFl— TIM CAHILL (@Tim_Cahill) November 28, 2019
My world is a sadder place tonight after learning of the death of Pim Verbeek. The kindest, most genuine human being I ever met in football - I was proud to call him my friend. Rust goed Pim.— simonhill1894 (@simonhill1894) November 28, 2019
Shattered by the passing of Pim Verbeek. He was such a genuinely lovely bloke, exactly the opposite of the perceptions so many people (including me) had of him during his time with the Socceroos. You couldn’t meet a nicer guy. Gone way too soon.— Vince Rugari (@VinceRugari) November 28, 2019
With real sadness I have just filed an obituary of Pim Verbeek, former Socceroos coach who has died aged 63. A lovely man, warm, deeply intelligent and good company.— Tom Smithies (@SmithiesTele) November 28, 2019
The football world has lost a really great human ! Rest in peace Pim Verbeek ! You will always be remembered here in Australia ! @FFA— Robbie Slater (@RobbieSlater17) November 28, 2019
Saddened to hear the passing of Pim Verbeek. Gave me my @Socceroos debut.— Rob Cornthwaite (@robcornthwaite) November 28, 2019
Once I was late to a team meeting and I apologised. 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.
RIP Pim 🇦🇺❤️ https://t.co/Uk5XvwwBhO
Immensely saddened by the passing of Pim Verbeek.— Adam Peacock (@adampeacock3) November 28, 2019
A good human gone.
The passing of Pim Verbeek is devastating news for Australian Football.— Daniel Garb (@DanielGarb) November 28, 2019
Always personable and affable. Divided opinion but took us to our third World Cup without many hiccups in qualifying & our last World Cup triumph v Serbia.
We have a tribute airing soon on @FOXSportsNews
Words cannot describe how sad I am to hear that Pim Verbeek has passed away. An amazing coach, manager and mentor. He always treated me with kindness and respect. You will never be forgotten. Rest in Peace my friend— Adam Mark (@adam_mark) November 28, 2019
Very sad to hear Pim Verbeek has passed away. He taught me so much and had a massive impact on my life!— Bruce Djite (@BDjite) November 28, 2019
Genuinely one of the greatest people I had ever met. 🙏🏾😔
Despite securing a spot at a second successive World Cup, Verbeek's playing style was accused of being too conservative and he was criticised for his dismissive views about the quality of players in the A-League.
A powerful Germany outfit that would go on to reach the semi-finals hammered Verbeek's side 4-0 in a disastrous opening match in Durban that also saw Tim Cahill sent-off.
A 1-1 draw with Ghana left the Socceroos needing to beat Serbia in their final match to have any chance of qualifying for the knock-out stages.
Goals from Brett Holman and Cahill did secure a 2-1 victory but other results went against Verbeek's side and they missed out on goal difference to bring the coach's reign to a frustrating finish.
Verbeek began his coaching career with Dutch giants Feyenoord in 1989, followed by spells with Groningen and Fortuna Sittard.
He then moved to Japan to become head coach of Omiya Ardija before linking up with Hiddink in South Korea.
Verbeek returned to Seoul after the 2006 World Cup to become head coach, and led South Korea to third place at the Asian Cup in 2007 before stepping down.
After leaving the Socceroos Verbeek spent the next four years managing Morocco's Under-23 team.
His final job in the game came in 2016 as the coach of Oman. Verbeek picked up his first trophy as a coach, winning the 2017-18 Gulf Cup title.