Zwartkruis became coach of the Dutch team after the 1976 Euro finals and went to the 1978 World Cup in Argentina as assistant coach to Ernst Happel. The team reached the final, losing to hosts Argentina.
After the World Cup Zwartkruis, who worked for the Dutch army and coached the Dutch military national team, became head coach again and led the Netherlands into the 1980 Euro finals, where they were knocked out in the first round.
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In 1981 Zwartkruis was sacked and replaced by Kees Rijvers.
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