Guus Hiddink hints at Chelsea return after ending spell at Turkey

 

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The Independent Online

Guus Hiddink has not ruled out a return to Barclays Premier League side Chelsea following the termination of his contract as Turkey coach by mutual consent.

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) announced Hiddink had left the role today following the national team's failure to reach next summer's European Championship.

Last night's 3-0 aggregate defeat to Croatia in the Euro 2012 play-offs brought an end to Turkey's hopes of reaching the tournament in Poland and Ukraine.

Hiddink managed Chelsea between February and May 2009, leading them to FA Cup success. He has a good relationship with the Blues' Russian owner Roman Abramovich, and has again spoken fondly about his time in London.

"I'm going to take some time off and then we will see what happens, but I had a wonderful time in England," Hiddink said in quotes reported by the Daily Telegraph.

"It was great at Chelsea, a terrific time, but that doesn't mean I am ready to start tomorrow. I need some time to reflect."

Andre Villas-Boas is Chelsea's manager now after replacing Carlo Ancelotti in the summer, but Hiddink appears ready to consider a sporting director or similar role in the future.

However, Hiddink is not contemplating a move back to Holland after being linked with a potential position at reigning Eredivisie champions Ajax.

"A while ago I just had contact with (Ajax supervisory board member) Johan Cruyff and then was told that the door would be open and that I would be welcome," he told Dutch website www.vi.nl.

"I want something else, perhaps an advisory role.

"I'm not ready to retire, I like to be involved with a team on a daily basis, but maybe I am ready to step out of the limelight a little bit, away from the cameras. Hopefully I will still be involved but perhaps it will be as an adviser or a consultant.

"I don't see myself working in the Netherlands."

Hiddink's departure from the Turkey job was confirmed in a statement on the official TFF website which read: "Following the meeting between Turkish Football Federation Executive Committee and Turkey head coach Guus Hiddink, the Dutch coach's contract has been terminated by mutual consent.

"We would like to thank Mr Guus Hiddink for his services during his working period, and wish him all the best in his future career."

Hiddink, who has also managed Holland, South Korea, Australia and Russia at international level, took charge of the Turkish national team in August last year and leaves the post after just 15 months.

Hiddink's contract with Turkey was due to run until next summer, although it was widely expected the 65-year-old would move on before that time if Turkey were unsuccessful in the qualification campaign.

Speaking after last night's match, Hiddink hit out at the structures in place in Turkish football, insisting that the present system was affecting the national team's chances.

"All national teams representing a country, starting with the under-14 side up to the senior level, depend on how the clubs are organised and how seriously they take the education of young players from the age of 10," Hiddink said in quotes reported by Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman.

"In countries like Germany and Holland, this system is highly developed and the results are obvious.

"On the other hand, only one or two players from Turkey's Under-19 and Under-21 sides have come through to senior level and while in those countries it's a reliable process, in Turkey it's an exception.

"Turkey has a lot of potential but will only take part in big tournaments more frequently if the system is organised in a better way, because the foundation must lie in the clubs and be 100% efficient."

Hiddink leaves his post having won just seven of 17 games in charge of Turkey, with five draws and five defeats.

Three of those losses came in Euro 2012 qualifying, as Turkey finished a distant second to Germany in Group A, just two points ahead of third-placed Belgium.

PA

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