Hiddink to return as Dutch coach to face Turkey in Euro 2016 qualifiers
THE HAGUE - Agence France-Presse
This file picture dated June 12, 1998 shows the Dutch soccer squad listening to coach Guus Hiddink (2dR rear) before training at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, north of Paris on the eve of their 1998 Soccer World Cup group E match against Belgium.Guus Hiddink will take over from Louis van Gaal as Netherlands coach after the World Cup finals, the Dutch Footall Federation (KNVB) announced on March 28.
Hiddink, 67, will bring in former internationals Danny Blind and Ruud van Nistelrooy as his main assistants. He had already indicated this month that he would return.
The return of the veteran coach will mean he will face Turkey in the 2016 European Football Championship qualifiers. Hiddink coached Turkey in the run-up to the Euro 2012, but he failed to lead the country to the tournament co-hosted by Ukraine and Poland.
Hiddink was in charge of the Dutch team that came fourth at the 1998 World Cup. He ended that three year stint shortly after the finals.
Hiddink will coach the side until the 2016 European championships in France and former Sparta Rotterdam and Ajax defender Blind, 52, will then take over until the 2018 World Cup in Russia, the KNVB said.
Former striker Van Nistelrooy, 37, played with clubs including Manchester United and Real Madrid.
"It's an honor to return as coach of the Netherlands," Hiddink said in a statement released by the KNVB.
"With Danny Blind and Ruud van Nistelrooy, we also have a solid team with a great knowledge of football and experience."
Hiddink is a national hero in South Korea after taking the national side to fourth place at the 2002 World Cup finals they co-hosted.
He has also coached Russia and Australia and top clubs Real Madrid, PSV Eindhoven and Chelsea. Hiddink left the Russian club Anzhi in July 2013.
Van Gaal, 62, had already indicated he would leave after the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The Netherlands were runners-up at the 2010 World Cup but slumped to three defeats in as many
matches at Euro 2012.
They are drawn in Group B for the World Cup with title-holders Spain, Chile and Australia.
For Euro 2016 they are in Group A qualifying group with the Czech Republic, Turkey, Latvia, Iceland and Kazakhstan.