Hiddink hopes for new Korean rolePosted: Wednesday July 03, 2002 7:09 AM
SEOUL (Reuters) -- Guus Hiddink expects to serve as an adviser to World Cup co-host South Korea as it prepares for the next finals despite a possible return to former club PSV Eindhoven, he said Wednesday.
"I agreed ....to maintain our relation," Hiddink said of his ties to the Korea Football Association, adding he was prepared to advise South Korea for as long as two years.
"We'll see what we can do after two years," he told a news conference.
Hiddink, whose coaching contract ended after Saturday's third place playoff defeat by Turkey, confirmed reports of talks with Dutch club Eindhoven but said nothing was settled yet.
"I will have my conversation next week with Eindhoven," he said.
In 18 months as South Korea coach, Hiddink produced a squad whose fast, attacking football upset top European sides and set a new standard for football in Asia.
It beat Poland, Portugal, Italy and Spain and finished fourth in the best World Cup showing by an Asian squad in the tournament's 72-year history.
Immensely popular, South Korea's "Red Devil" fans wore "I love Hiddink" T-shirts throughout the World Cup and roared every time the unflappable Dutchman's face flashed across stadium screens.
His success prompted a book on his management style, something pundits urged the government and companies to emulate and captured in a simple play on his name: "He think."
President Kim Dae-jung presented Hiddink with South Korea's top sports medal and honorary citizenship Tuesday and said the World Cup had been "like a dream."
"I don't want to make an end to that relation," the 55-year-old Hiddink said of his ties to South Korea. "It's too precious for me."
Hiddink said he was also keen on helping a talented cluster of players aged 19 to 26 hit their stride in time for the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
"There's a process going on right now in Korean football that is very interesting," he said.
South Korea, winless in five previous World Cups, came within one match of the final last week.
It was a stunning turnaround from the 1998 World Cup, where Hiddink was coach of the Netherlands side that thrashed South Korea 5-0.
The Netherlands reached the semifinals in 1998, as did South Korea this year, making Hiddink the only coach to achieve the feat with two teams.
PSV Eindhoven is the club that gave Hiddink his start as an assistant coach in 1983.
He had played there and went on to become head coach, leading them to the Dutch League championship three times and to the European Cup in 1988.
Hiddink coached at Fenerbahce in Turkey and Spain's Valencia before taking over the Dutch national team in 1995.
He then coached in Spain at Real Madrid and Real Betis before taking the South Korea job in December 2000.
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