Eredivisie: Marco van Basten is to step down as AZ Alkmaar boss due to health issues

Image: Marco van Basten: Taken decision to undertake new role

Marco van Basten is to step down to an assistant coach role at AZ Alkmaar on his return to the club after health issues.

Van Basten has been on leave for the last two weeks due to health problems and there was some speculation the club's head coach would leave completely.

But on Tuesday AZ announced he would take on a secondary role, signing a new contract as an assistant coach until 2016.

"I have found that in recent times the role of head coach was causing me increasing physical and mental discomfort," the former Holland international said on the club's website.

"Therefore I decided I had to be honest with myself and with AZ. I wanted to return, but not as head coach. After extensive discussions with the club and (assistants) Alex Pastoor and Dennis Haar, we have found a suitable solution for all.

"I am delighted with my new role which is a little more in the background. I want to help the young players here."

Pastoor is in line to become the new head coach, having taken on the role in van Basten's absence, but director of football Earnest Stewart said a deal is yet to be finalised.

Later, in a news conference, van Basten, who coached the Netherlands at the 2006 World Cup in Germany and turns 50 in October, said that stress, which led to heart palpitations, meant he could no longer work as head coach and would never again do so.

"The stress I experienced as a head coach was much more than I would have liked," he said, adding that he had suffered no physical discomfort over the past three weeks.

"It (the palpitations) has happened to me several times over the last years. I thought I could overcome it and that things would get better," said the former Dutch international striker.

"I worked hard at recovery and followed the necessary courses of treatment. I wanted to keep going but they kept coming back. There were two solutions: to do something else or to change the way I currently work.

"That is why I asked AZ to change my responsibility to better suit me and so that I can continue," he added.

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