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Hiddink Promised to Return

Posted July. 08, 2002 00:56,   


"I want to say `So Long` rather than "Good Bye`," said Guus Hiddink, former head coach of the Korean national football team, returned to the Netherlands on the 7nd, indicating that he would remain the relationship with Korean soccer.

He emphasized that he was committed to doing his best for Korean soccer whenever possible. He said, "I will never forget the strong support the Korean soccer fans have lent to me. I will exert my effort to further promote Korean soccer as a technological advisor. Also I will help young Korean players making their presence known in prominent Europe leagues as much as possible."

Hiddink is reported to begin his negotiation with the PSV Eindhoven, the prominent Dutch pro soccer team as soon as he returned to his homeland. Hiddink said, "I will meet with officials in the PSV Eindhoven tomorrow, and I think it will go smoothly since we understand each other very well."

After taking helm of the Dutch pro team, he is expected to recruit three to four Korean players in the PSV Eindhoven through consultation with the Korea Football Association (KFA). Hiddink said, "I will decide whom I will take to Europe after I discuss the matter with the KFA. The players might be younger than the 23 entry member in the World Cup."

Meanwhile, hundreds of fans gathered in the Incheon International Airport to see him off. They expressed their affection for Hiddink by holding pickets reading `Remember Korean" or "I ♡ You"

Hiddink bid farewell to coaches of the Korean National team and had a brief photo-op session with his girlfriend Elizabeth, Paek Ki-wan, director of the Unification Research Institute and dozens of `Red Devil` soccer fans.

Paek formed a connection with Hiddink when he gave a lecture to national soccer players last April at the request of the KFA. He came to the airport to see off Hiddink after Hiddink asked him to meet again before his departure.

After the farewell ceremony, Hiddink wearing a Beige jacket and black pants left Korea, which has great significance in his football career, as hundreds of soccer fans chanted `Dae~Han Min Guk` meaning the Republic of Korea.

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com