Former Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink takes over at Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala
Hiddink, who has also managed Holland, Russia and Australia, signs 18-month deal
Cameroon striker Samuel Eto'o and Brazilian Roberto Carlos play for big-spending Anzhi
Veteran Dutch coach Guus Hiddink is the latest man to take the reins at big-spending Russian club Anzhi Makhachkala, succeeding Yuri Krasnozhan who resigned before he’d even taken charge of a match.
Hiddink has coached his native Netherlands, South Korea, Australia, Turkey and Russia during a long and distinguished career, while at club level he won the European Champions League with Dutch club PSV Eindhoven, and the English FA Cup with Chelsea.
The 65-year-old has agreed an 18-month contract at Anzhi, who can boast four-time African player of the year Samuel Eto’o and Brazilian World Cup winner Roberto Carlos among their ranks.
The club are owned by billionaire Suleiman Kerimov and their stadium is based in the Dagestan region of Russia but the players fly in from Moscow for home games for security reasons. They are currently seventh in the Russian League.
Hiddink has been out of work since quitting as Turkey coach when they failed to qualify for Euro 2012. It will be his first job in club football for six years and as well as being coach, he will also act as vice president for the club’s development.
“At the end of last year we had long discussions about Anzhi and that’s why now I made a prompt decision,” he told the club’s official website.
“I’m glad to accept such an opportunity, to work not only with the football team but also with my friends who invited me here. The most significant factor for me is that the club is building plans on football development in the republic.
“This is as important as getting results for the first team and I’m going to pay special attention to this. We spoke much with Suleiman Kerimov about this after which I realized what a grand project I was invited to be a part of.
“I know about ambitions of the owner, the club, the fans, now it’s known to the whole world. I’ll do my best so that the team’s play would satisfy these ambitions.”
Hiddink replaces Yuri Krasnozhan, who joined the club in December last year during the Russian league’s winter break, but he resigned last week before he had taken charge of a competitive match.
The Dutchman had been linked with a return to English club Chelsea, with whom he spent a short stint in 2009 after the sacking of Brazil’s World Cup winning coach Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Hiddink led the Netherlands to fourth place in the 1998 World Cup and repeated the feat with underdogs South Korea, as they co-hosted the 2002 World Cup.
Four years later he took Australia to their first World Cup in 32 years and reached the quarterfinals. He also won the Intercontinental Cup with Spanish giants Real Madrid in 1998.