Derby County will be led into the 2019/20 Sky Bet Championship season by Phillip Cocu.

The 48-year-old signed a four-year deal to become the new manager at Pride Park and make his first move into English football.

Cocu enjoyed an illustrious playing career, both in his home country of the Netherlands and abroad in Spain, while he has continued to add silverware to his collection after his move into management.

Here is everything you need to know about the new boss…

Career Beginnings

Cocu was born in Eindhoven on 29th October 1970 and he would eventually go on to make a huge impact in his hometown, but before that, his professional career began with AZ Alkmaar.

He made his senior debut in January 1989 in the Dutch second tier, coming on as a substitute against NEC as an 18-year-old, before establishing himself as a regular during the 1989/90 campaign.

His form attracted the attention of Vitesse and it was in Arnhem where he began to transition into a central midfielder, having started as a wide player with his first club.

Across four full seasons with Vitesse, Cocu scored 28 goals in all competitions and his clear potential as a goalscoring midfielder was soon recognised by his hometown club.

Eindhoven and Barcelona

After leaving Eindhoven as a toddler, Cocu returned in 1995 after PSV triggered the release clause including within his contract with Vitesse.

He joined the club in a joint-transfer with Chris van der Weerden - who went on to become his assistant manager at PSV and Fenerbahce - and his impressive form continued as he twice hit double figures for goals in his three years at the club.

Cocu’s goals and performances helped the club to the Eredivisie title in 1997, while he also won the KNVB Cup and the Johan Cruyff Shield twice, before Barcelona came calling.

He joined a strong Dutch contingent at the Camp Nou, with the likes of Frank and Ronald de Boer, Patrick Kluivert and Michael Reiziger already at the club, while Louis van Gaal was in the hotseat.

Cocu’s first season in Barcelona ended with success as they lifted the La Liga title, with the midfielder playing a key role with 12 league goals.

Pep Guardiola and Luis Figo were amongst his teammates in midfield as the title was secured, but both soon departed and Barca endured a period of decline, but Cocu’s performances remained at a high level.

His record of 291 appearances for the club in all competitions remained a record for a foreign player until 2012, when it was broken by Lionel Messi.

After six seasons in Catalonia, Cocu then returned to PSV.

Later Playing Years

Cocu won four trophies during his first playing spell at the Philips Stadion, and that number was then doubled between 2004 and 2007 as PSV enjoyed a period of domestic dominance.

Along with an additional KNVB Cup, PSV secured a hat-trick of titles and it was Cocu’s decisive goal that won the third and final Eredivisie title in dramatic circumstances in 2007.

On the final day of the season, he scored the final goal in a 5-1 win against his former club Vitesse and it was that strike that kept PSV ahead of Ajax on goal difference.

Cocu then ended his playing career after one season in the United Arab Emirates with Al Jazira.

National Service

Cocu appeared at five major tournaments for the Netherlands as a player, starting with Euro 1996 and ending with the World Cup in Germany 10 years later.

In total, he won 101 caps for his country and that figure makes him the eighth most capped player in the history of the Netherlands national team, while he also scored 10 goals.

Coaching Career

Cocu began his coaching badges shortly after the conclusion of his playing career and he worked with PSV’s Academy, as well as being appointed as an assistant to Bert van Marwijk, the head coach of the Dutch national team.

He was made the caretaker manager of PSV in March 2012 and under his management, the team finished third in the Eredivisie and won the KNVB Cup - Cocu’s first silverware as a coach.

With Dick Advocaat appointed as the next permanent manager of the club, Cocu returned to the Academy and took charge of the Under-19s, but was then named as Advocaat’s replacement in July 2013.

In his second season in charge, Cocu led PSV to their first league title in seven years and he then went on to win two more titles before his short spell at Fenerbahce in 2018.

During his time with PSV, Cocu’s side remained competitive despite several big name departures, including Memphis Depay and Georginio Wijnaldum.