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, 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. He added that he is thinking more of advisory role at this moment, since he promised to serve as a commentator for U.S. sports cable channel Fox Sports during the 2018 World Cup.
But Hiddink didn't completely ruled out returning to the coaching job as he noted what he said was based only on 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, claimed he told his intention to the KFA through unofficial route before Shin was appointed the new head coach.
Hiddink, who also coached the national teams of Turkey, Russia, Australia and the Netherlands, said he respects the KFA's decision to go with Shin for the 2018 World Cup.
The KFA later responded that it wants to thank Hiddink's careful attention to South Korean football and will ask for his advice if the national team needs help.
"We want Hiddink to give us a lot of help for the national team to achieve good results at the World Cup in Russia next month," the KFA said in a release. "If there's an area that needs his advice, we will ask him any time after consulting with the technical committee and head coach Shin Tae-yong."
Hiddink, meanwhile, said South Korea's performance in the World Cup qualifying campaign wasn't good enough considering what the national players have done overseas. When asked about the possiblity of South Korea reaching knockout rounds at the World Cup, he said he will be able to talk after the group draw, but pointed out that South Korea aren't one of the advanced football nations in the world. (Yonhap)