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Guus Hiddink ( ; born 8 November 1946) is a former Dutchmarker footballer and current manager. He is recognised for winning the European treble (Eredivisie, Dutch Cup and European Cup) with PSV Eindhoven; leading South Korea to a fourth place finish in the 2002 FIFA World Cup; managing the Netherlands into the same position in the 1998 FIFA World Cup, losing to eventual runner-up Brazil on penalties; leading Australia to the second round at the 2006 FIFA World Cup, their first appearance in the tournament for 32 years; leading Russia to the semi-finals of Euro 2008, Russia's best performance since the breakup of the Soviet Union; and reviving Chelsea by winning the FA Cup in 2009 against Everton. He is currently the manager of Russia. However, Hiddink's team failed to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup finals, putting Hiddink's future in doubt. Hiddink previously managed De Graafschap, PSV Eindhoven, Fenerbahçemarker, Valencia, the Netherlands, Real Madrid, Real Betis, South Korea, Australia, and Chelsea.

Playing career

Hiddink was born in Varsseveldmarker and started his career as a player in the youth side of amateur club SC Varsseveld. He turned professional after signing on for Dutch club De Graafschap in 1967. Hiddink played at the Doetinchemmarker club under manager Piet de Visser. In 1973, Hiddink and manager de Visser earned promotion to the Eredivisie, the top league in Dutch football. Ever since, the careers of the two Dutchmen have intersected: de Visser scouted numerous South American players, such as PSV players Ronaldo, Romário (who played under Hiddink at PSV from 1988 until 1990) and current Chelsea defender Alex, for Hiddink's PSV. Also, de Visser, in his role as personal advisor to Roman Abramovich, was influential in bringing Hiddink to the Russia national football team and more recently to Chelsea as caretaker manager following the dismissal of Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari. It was de Visser who introduced Hiddink to Abramovich during a meeting in Eindhovenmarker in 2004. He spent most of his playing career at De Graafschap, including three years under de Visser, and remains a fan of the club. He joined PSV in 1970, but after failing to win a permanent position in the team, he rejoined De Graafschap after just one year and remained there until 1976. He also had stints in Englandmarker with Liverpool from July to December 1976 (though he did not make a first team appearance), and in the United Statesmarker with Washington Diplomats and San Jose Earthquakes, before returning home to sign for NEC. In 1981, he rejoined De Graafschap and retired a year later. He generally played as a midfielder during his playing days.

Managerial career

Early club career

Having honed his coaching skills with De Graafschap as an assistant manager, he took over the managerial role at PSV Eindhoven in 1987 (after also holding the assistant manager position there from 1983 to March 1987). Hiddink took over at PSV in March, 1987, while the team was first in the League. It was at PSV where he led the team to its first ever European Cup triumph in 1988 (and The Treble) affirming the Eindhoven club's ranking as one of the three giants of Dutch football, alongside rivals Ajax and Feyenoord. He also won three Eredivisie titles with the club in between 1987 and 1990.

He also had a coaching stint at Turkishmarker club Fenerbahçemarker in 1990 but was dismissed after one year before joining Spanishmarker giants Valencia. His outspoken nature was demonstrated when during a league game at Valencia's Estadio Mestallamarker, he ordered a racist banner to be removed from one of the stands.

His open attacking brand of football appealed to the Valencia team as well as to the rest of the La Liga.

Dutch national team

Hiddink would face his biggest managerial challenge when he took over the reins of the Dutch national team on 1 January 1995, where he took charge of a team of talented individuals continually racked by internal arguments and disputes. His usual 4-4-2 tactic of deploying wingers backed-up by central midfielders resulted in goals from defensive midfielders such as Philip Cocu and Edgar Davids. Hiddink took a firm approach to the team, an example of which was demonstrated at Euro 1996 when Edgar Davids was sent home after an argument with Hiddink.He was able to prevent further internal conflict in the 1998 FIFA World Cup where his team played some of the more entertaining football in that tournament.The team beat Argentina in the quarter finals 2–1, then suffered a defeat at the hands of Brazil on penalties in the semi-final. This loss signaled an end of another era for Hiddink, as he resigned as Dutch national coach soon after.

Return to club football

He became the manager of Spanishmarker La Liga side Real Madrid in the summer of 1998, replacing Jupp Heynckes, but bad league form and off pitch remarks about the board and finances of Real Madrid saw him get sacked in February 1999. Hiddink then took over the reins at Spanish club Real Betis in 2000 for the rest of the season. His time at Real Betis would end badly with Hiddink being sacked by May 2000.

In the summer of 2000, rumors were rife about his future with Celtic among one of the clubs named as a potential destination. However, the temptation to manage another World Cup-bound international team proved irresistible for him as he became the head coach of the South Korean national football team on 1 January 2001.

South Korean national team

Success would not come easily with a team that had appeared in five straight World Cups but had yet to win a single match. South Korea was one of the host nations for the 2002 FIFA World Cup tournament, along with Japanmarker. There was an expectation that the hosts would progress to the second round of the tournament and it was clearly expressed that Hiddink's team was expected to perform to that standard as well.
His first year in charge was not met with favorable reviews from the Korean press, as he was often spotted together with his girlfriend, when some felt he should instead have been taking charge of the team. After a 2–1 loss to the US Gold Cup team in January 2002, he was criticized again for not taking his job seriously. Nevertheless, the team he assembled was a cohesive unit that subsequently proved to be the fittest team at the World Cup.

In the World Cup itself, the South Korean team achieved its first ever victory in the first stage (2–0, against Poland), and after a 1–1 draw with the USA and a further 1–0 victory against heavily-favored Portugal, the South Korean team qualified for the second round.

Their second round opponents were Italy, who were defeated 2–1 after extra time in a game which is referred to across the world as "the biggest disgrace from South Korea since the Bodo League anti–communist massacre". The South Koreamarker public then began to dream of a semi-final berth, which was attained on defeating Spain on penalties, thereby surpassing the record of their North Korean counterparts 36 years before.

The South Korean team's run was halted by Germany in the semi-finals. As with the Netherlands team four years before in Francemarker, Hiddink led his team into fourth place after a defeat to Turkey in the third place playoff.

For the South Korean people, Hiddink is considered a national hero. Prior to the tournament, football pundits and fans alike never expected this level of success. Nearly the entire South Korean population were swept with joy when South Korea reached the semi-finals of the World Cup.Hiddink became the first-ever foreigner to be given honorary South Korean citizenship. In addition other rewards soon followed - a private villa in Jeju-do islandmarker; free flights for life with Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, free taxi rides, and so forth. The World Cup stadium in Gwangjumarker, where South Korea qualified for the semi-finals, was renamed Guus Hiddink Stadiummarker in his honor shortly after the tournament. His hometown, where a Guuseum was set up, became a popular stopover for South Koreans visiting the Netherlands. The Guuseum is a museum established by his relatives, in Varsseveldmarker, to honor Hiddink.


Hiddink chose to return to his native country and took over the coaching duties at PSV Eindhoven in 2002. During his second spell with PSV, Hiddink won three Dutch league titles (2002–03, 2004–05, and 2005–06), the 2005 Dutch Cup, and the 2003 Dutch Super Cup. In Europe, the 2004–05 Champions League led to PSV's first ever appearance in the semi-final of the tournament since it adopted its current format in 1992–93 (PSV won the European Cup, the predecessor to the modern Champions League, in 1988, with Hiddink as coach). PSV narrowly lost the semi-final to AC Milan, on away goals. In the 2005–06 Champions League season, PSV made it through the group stage, but was eliminated in the first knockout round, having lost 5 of its starting 11 members (Park Ji-Sung to Manchester United, Lee Young-Pyo to Tottenham Hotspur, Mark van Bommel to Barcelona, Johann Vogel to Milan, and Wilfred Bouma to Aston Villa) to transfers. This period at PSV would make Hiddink the most successful Dutch coach in history, with six Dutch League titles and four Dutch Cups, surpassing the record of Rinus Michels.

Australian national team

On 22 July 2005, Hiddink became manager of the Australian national team. He announced he would manage both PSV and Australia at the same time, fulfilling a clause in his contract that allows him to coach at both club and national level, but would leave both in mid-2006, after the World Cup finals.

In the play-offs held with Uruguay in Montevideomarker on 12 November and in Sydneymarker on 16 November 2005, both home teams won 1–0. Australia went on to win 4–2 on penalties — the first time Australia had qualified for the finals in 32 years, and the first time that any team had qualified through winning a penalty shoot-out.

Hiddink was an extremely popular figure in Australia and was referred to affectionately as "Aussie Guus". A telling example of the public affection for him was the Socceroo fans chant of "Goooooooooooos!" during moments of play. Slogans for the Socceroos' World Cup campaign were "No Guus, No Glory", "Guus for P.M" and "In Guus We Trust", as well as the play on words of the famous taunt "Guus your Daddy?". During the World Cup, a Sydney newspaper started a humorous campaign to lure him away from Russia by proposing a national "Guus tax" to pay his wages. More seriously, his reputation was enhanced by his transformation of the national side, with many pundits focusing on the immense improvement to Australia's defense. He is credited with turning a team which conceded many goals under Frank Farina into a solid defensive unit which only conceded one goal away from home to both Uruguay and the Netherlands. Hiddink's assistants at Australia were Dutch legend Johan Neeskens and former Australian International Graham Arnold.

The Socceroos defeated the Japanese team 3–1 during their first game in the 2006 FIFA World Cup Finals, with Tim Cahill scoring 2 goals (84', 89') and John Aloisi scoring 1 (92') all in the last eight minutes to claim their first World Cup goals and victory ever. An early controversial call by the Egyptian referee that awarded a goal to the Japanese team, despite an apparent foul to Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer, had the Australians playing catch up until the last eight minutes. After scoring the first goal, Cahill was lucky to get away with a potential foul when he tripped Japan's Yuichi Komano who had dribbled into the Australian penalty area. The referee missed the incident, and Cahill then broke to score the second on the counter. FIFA's spokesman for refereeing Anderas Werz said that while Japan's first goal was irregular, Egyptian referee Essam Abdel Fatah should also have given Japan a penalty.

Australia followed the match against Japan with a 2–0 loss to Brazil. This left the Socceroos requiring a draw against Croatia in their last group match to qualify for the knockout stage of the FIFA world cup for the first time in their history. After a match fraught with controversy and erroneous decisions from the referee, Graham Poll (including an unprecedented three yellow cards given to the same Croatian player, ironically Australian-born Josip Simunic), the game ended 2-2, and the Socceroos had their draw thanks to a goal from Harry Kewell to level the game with minutes to spare.

In the second round, the Italian national team beat Australia 1–0. After sending off Italian defender Marco Materazzi in the 55th minute, Spanish referee Luís Medina Cantalejo awarded Italy's Fabio Grosso a controversial penalty kick eight seconds from the end of normal time, which was converted by Francesco Totti. The contact made on Grosso by Lucas Neill appeared to be questionable from the resulting television replays. This put Australia out of the World Cup, marking the official end of Hiddink's tenure as Australia's national coach.

Russian national team

On 10 April 2006 Hiddink announced on Dutch television that he would take over as manager of Russia. He signed a 2½-year contract worth US$ 2.4 million a year plus bonuses, with an option for another two years, on 14 April 2006. His duties for Russia started after the 2006 World Cup, and the team's first match with Hiddink as coach was a friendly on 16 August 2006 against Latvia.

Russia's Euro qualification hopes came into question after a 2–1 loss to Israel. After a win against Andorra, and England losing out to Croatia on the last match day, Russia and Hiddink secured qualification for Euro 2008, where they managed to reach the semi-finals, with victories against the Dutch national team in the quarter finals, and defending champions Greece in the group stage.

Piet de Visser, a former head scout of Hiddink's club PSV and now a personal assistant to Roman Abramovich at Chelsea, recommended Hiddink to the Chelsea owner, following the departure of Avram Grant at the end of the 2007–08 English Premier League season. However, in March 2008 Hiddink had already chosen to exercise the two year extension with Russia, keeping him in the National Team's head coaching role until 2010.

However, in November 2009 Russia were defeated by Slovenia in a 2010 World Cup Qualifying Play Off, casting doubt on future ambitions.


After the sacking of Chelsea's former manager, the Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari during the 2008–09 English Premier League season, Chelsea confirmed on 11 February 2009 that Hiddink would become Scolari's replacement until the end of the Premier League season, whilst continuing his duties with Russia. Hiddink's first game in charge was a 1–0 victory against Aston Villa at Villa Parkmarker. His first game in charge at Stamford Bridgemarker was a 1–0 victory over Juventus in the Champions League knockout stage. Success continued in the form of a 3–1 away victory against Liverpool—commentators stated that Hiddink had rejuvenated Chelsea following Scolari's departure. After knocking Liverpool out of the competition, Hiddink went on to take Chelsea to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. Chelsea lost out to eventual winners Barcelona in the 93rd minute after 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge, after numerous penalty calls were turned down. They were knocked out on the away goals rule.

Hiddink only lost once during his tenture as Chelsea manager, a 1-0 loss to Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lanemarker, where Luka Modric scored the only goal of the match. In the final home game of the season, in which Chelsea beat Blackburn Roversmarker 2-0, Chelsea home fans chanted Hiddink's name throughout the match and called for Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich to 'sign him up' (on a permanent basis). Hiddink's highly positive reception highlighted the Chelsea fans' appreciation of the manager. He marked an end to his Premier League campaign with a thrilling 3-2 away win over Sunderland.

In his last game as a temporary coach of Chelsea, he won the 2009 FA Cup by beating Everton 2-1 at Wembleymarker.He was visibly pleased at winning the Cup, and in subsequent interviews claimed it was one of his biggest achievements. Even though throughout his tenure at Chelsea various players asked him to stay, including captain John Terry, Michael Ballack, and Petr Cech, Hiddink always stated that he intended to return to his post with Russia. As a parting gift, the Chelsea players gave him an engraved watch and a shirt signed by all of the players.

Two days after his last match, he was replaced by Carlo Ancelotti.

Tax fraud

In February 2007 Hiddink was given a six-month suspended jail sentence and fined €45,000 after being found guilty of tax fraud by a Dutch court. Prosecutors had demanded a ten-month prison sentence for Hiddink, who was accused of evading €1.4 million in Dutch taxes by claiming to be a resident of Belgium from 2002 to 2003. The Dutch Tax Intelligence and Detection Service claimed that he hadn't spent enough nights at his Belgian house that he stated was his primary address. Hiddink denied this accusation.

Hiddink refused to represent the Netherlands in their bid to host the 2018 FIFA World Cup because he felt he had been mistreated in this dossier.



De Graafschap

San Jose Earthquakes



Club honours

Real Madrid


International honours

 South Korea





Team Nat From To Record
G W D L Win % F A Goal +/-
De Graafschap 1982 1984 62 21 15 26 33.87 92 103 -11
PSV 1987 1990 102 71 19 13 69.61 289 95 194
Fenerbahçemarker 1990 1991 30 12 8 10 40.00 53 53 0
Valencia 1991 1994 114 53 29 32 46.49 178 125 53
Netherlands December 1994 July 1998 38 22 8 8 81 29 52
Real Madrid July 1998 May 1999 34 19 4 11 73 48 25
Real Betis 1999 2 May 2000
South Korea 20 December 2000 July 2002 29 17 6 6 43 25 18
PSV 1 August 2002 May 2006 192 128 35 29
Australia July 2005 July 2006 12 7 2 3 25 10 15
Russia July 2006 Present 26 16 4 6 46 27 19
Chelsea 16 February 2009 30 May 2009 21 15 5 1 39 18 21


  1. See 2002 FIFA World Cup for these two victories.
  2. UEFA Euro 2008 Group D
  3. McNulty, Phil (8 April 2009) Liverpool 1-3 Chelsea BBC Sport Retrieved on 9 April 2009
  4. Kay, Oliver (9 April 2009) Liverpool left on ropes by Hiddink's mastery The Times, Retrieved on 9 April 2009


  • Marc Bennetts, 'Football Dynamo - Modern Russia and the People's Game,' Virgin Books, (15 May 2008), 0753513196

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