Guus Hiddink to take over as coach of Netherlands soccer team
Johannesburg: Dutch football manager and former player Guus Hiddink will reportedly return as Netherlands coach for the second time in what could be his football swansong after the 2014 FIFA World Cup finals.
Hiddink, who has coached South Korea, Australia, Russia, Turkey, Real Madrid and Chelsea in his 32-year-old career, will take over from Louis Van Gaal on a mission to make sure the European team reaches the 2016 European Championships.
According to Sport24, the Dutch Football Federation (KNVB) said that Hiddink would work with former players Danny Blind and Ruud van Nistelrooy as his main assistants, adding that his contract will run only to the end of Euro 2016, after which time Blind will take over ahead of qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup.
The report mentioned that as a player, Hiddink was a tough midfielder with Dutch clubs PSV Eindhoven, De Graafschap and NEC Nijmegen and briefly in the early US major league.
The report further said that Van Gaal had already indicated he would leave after the World Cup in Brazil and has already been tipped as a possible Tottenham Hotspur manager.
The Netherlands, who were runners-up at the 2010 World Cup but slumped to three defeats in as many matches at Euro 2012, are drawn in Group B for the World Cup with title-holders Spain, Chile and Australia.
For Euro 2016, the team is in Group A qualifying group with the Czech Republic, Turkey, Latvia, Iceland and Kazakhstan, the report added.