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Humble pie? Van Basten acknowledges Ziyech now a star with Chelsea

Dutch great Marco van Basten hailed the performance of Hakim Ziyech for Chelsea's victory over Sheffield United.

The former Ajax star created two assists in Chelsea's 4-1 win.

And praise from Van Basten is significant after the pair fell out when together at SC Heerenveen. Van Basten was Ziyech's coach at Heerenveen, with the midfielder later criticising his management ability.

Indeed, Ziyech spoke out when learning Van Basten had joined Holland's backroom team. Back in 2016, Morocco international Ziyech said: “Van Basten is a big name, but not a top coach.

“He has realized at AZ that he is not suited for it. He should have done it already at Heerenveen. Now he is yet again an assistant at Orange. When you know people or have a big name You'll always be pushed into it. For me, quality counts.“

However, despite their differences, Van Basten praised the midfielder for his performance on Saturday - including his mental approach. Ziyech was again outstanding on the day, managing two assists as Chelsea won comfortably after going behind.

Van Basten, discussing the Ziyech he had at Heerenveen, said on Ziggo Sport via Voetbalzone: “He already had that left leg then. He just needed to get stronger. He did not have his 'Eredivisie legs' yet.

“Ultimately, your attitude determines how far you can go.

"He now has it all right in that respect."

Van Basten had two years in charge of Heerenveen before leaving for AZ Alkmaar. His last job in coaching was on the staff of the Oranje between 2015-16 under Danny Blind. The AC Milan great has also had a spell with FIFA as technical director.


- updated November 10

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Paul Vegas

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