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Guus Hiddink says willing to support S. Korean football in any way

2017/09/14 19:49

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AMSTERDAM, Sept. 14 (Yonhap) -- Former men's national football team head coach Guus Hiddink said Thursday that he is willing to help South Korean football in any way.

Hiddink, who guided South Korea to the 2002 FIFA World Cup semifinals, told South Korean reporters in Amsterdam that he is ready to help the men's national football team if the Korean people want him back. The former Chelsea and Real Madrid manager said he has yet to talk with the Korea Football Association (KFA), but if he receives an official offer, he is willing to take any role to help South Korean football.

Hiddink, however, said it will be difficult for him to repeat the 2002 World Cup success with South Korea as head coach considering the current situation.

The South Korean football community has been rattling after an official at Guus Hiddink Foundation in Seoul told a local news channel that the 70-year-old Dutchman is looking to return to his past job.

The report came out only hours after South Korea clinched a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup with Shin Tae-yong at the helm in Uzbekistan on Sept. 5. Shin only took over the reins two months ago following Uli Stielike's ouster and coached the final two matches in the last Asian qualifying round.

The KFA has been emphasizing that Shin will lead South Korea at the World Cup in Russia, rejecting speculations of Hiddink taking over the team.

Hiddink was criticized by some South Korean fans who said he tried to take the national team helm after South Korea affirmed their presence at the 2018 World Cup. He, however, reportedly told his intention to the KFA through unofficial route before Shin was appointed as new head coach.

Hiddink, who also coached the national teams of Turkey, Russia and the Netherlands, said he respects the KFA's decision to go with Shin for the 2018 World Cup.

In this file photo taken on Oct. 4, 2016, Guus Hiddink kicks the ball during a football event in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province. (Yonhap) In this file photo taken on Oct. 4, 2016, Guus Hiddink kicks the ball during a football event in Anseong, Gyeonggi Province. (Yonhap)

kdon@yna.co.kr

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