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Hiddink Takes Over Korea Once More?

Posted December. 18, 2003 23:13,   


“What does Hiddink have on the top of his mind?”

Guus Hiddink is the former coach of Korean national soccer team who achieved the “Final Four miracle” at the 2002 World Cup. The interesting point is that there is a possibility for Hiddink to take over the coaching position of Korea even after he signs another 3-year contract with PSV Eindhoven in the Netherlands’ professional soccer league.

Soccer website www.soccerage.com reported on December 18 that Harry Van Lai, the chief of Eindhoven, will offer a contract extension to coach Hiddink sooner or later. If this is true, Hiddink will extend his contract for three more years to lead Eindhoven through 2007.

What attracts us is the option part of his contract. Hiddink inserted the option in which “he can be set free for the 2006 Germany World Cup” as a condition for renewing his contract.

This opens the possibility of Hiddink managing the Korea team again for the 2006 World Cup. He will be able to participate in the World Cup while still under contract with Eindhoven and return to them once the World Cup concludes. This is a very possible scenario because pro-leagues worldwide will pause regulation play during the World Cup.

In addition, Hiddink still has contact with Korea. He made two contracts with the Korea Football Association before he left Korea last year. One is that he will make continuous efforts to develop Korean soccer as an advisor, and the other is that he will have priority to being the coach of the Korean national team for a month in June 2004.

The chances of Hiddink’s return is also increasing because under Humberto Coelho, the current coach of the Korean national soccer team, the team has shown poor outings in tournaments and friendly matches which have revealed his lack of leadership.

However it is difficult to conclude that Hiddink has a desire to return to Korea. Experts evaluate that he would be strongly pressured to take over the Korean team again after advancing Korea to the Final Four. Hiddink recently made a statement saying “he would like to take over China’s team.”

Jong-Koo Yang yjongk@donga.com