HIDDINK READY FOR NIGERIA
Russia coach Guus Hiddink has opened the door to Nigeria, and other nations wishing to procure his services, by announcing that he will step down from his position as Russia coach when his contract expires on June 30. That means he will be available after the World Cup. EAGLES
The Dutchman, who failed to secure Russia’s qualification to the World Cup in South Africa, announced his decision in Saturday’s De Telegraaf newspaper.
Nigeria are hoping to have the 63-year-old former Barcelona coach lead them to the World Cup, and would welcome the opportunity to discuss early termination of his contract with the Russia football federation.
Last week, Hiddink’s agent Cees van Nieuwenhuizen said that his client would consider the Nigeria offer if both federations come to an agreement.
Hiddink, who leads a rapidly increasing Nigeria shortlist for a coach, said in his column in De Telegraaf: “After a very comfortable conversation with the new chairman of the Russian association we decided to break up on 30 June.
“We made the decision right now so the Russian association has enough time to find my successor.”
Hiddink has a wealth of experience, taking the Netherlands to the World Cup semi-finals in 1998 and matching that feat with co-hosts South Korea in 2002 before helping the unfancied Australian team to the knockout stage in 2006.
Last year, he won the FA Cup with Chelsea while in his dual role, but Russia missed out on a place in South Africa this summer when they lost to Slovenia in the World Cup play-offs.