Tuesday 12 December 2017

Why would Hiddink want Blues return?

GUUS HIDDINK is a 64-year-old who loves playing golf and riding his Harley Davidson. He cherishes his private life and has enough money to retire on, several times over. So what would make him want to take one of the most stressful and demanding jobs in football?

1. Loyalty to Abramovich

Chelsea's Russian owner has a strong bond with Hiddink. Abramovich paid the bulk of his salary when he was Russia coach, and the Dutch master responded by taking temporary charge of the club for three months in 2009. Hiddink probably would not take the job if someone else was in charge.

2. Genuine affection for the club

Hiddink thoroughly enjoyed his time at Chelsea, building up a powerful bond with the players, who bought him a £50,000 Rolex as a farewell present. Chelsea fans also loved him, unfurling a massive banner which read: "Thank you Guus" before his final game, the 2009 FA Cup final.

3. £6m a year helps

Chelsea are among the highest payers in the world and Hiddink's deal at Chelsea would see him pick up £6m a year -- the same as his predecessor Carlo Ancelotti, who will also be paid throughout the final year of his contract until he finds a new job.

4. Unfinished business

Hiddink is still upset at the controversial manner of Chelsea's elimination by Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final of 2009, when Chelsea were denied four penalties by referee Tom Henning Ovrebo before conceding an injury-time away goal to Andres Iniesta. That near miss is something he is keen to put right.

5. He wants to get stuck in

Hiddink denied recently he prefers the more hands-off role of an international manager. "I feel energetic and I like working every day and I feel I need to do more, so a club role is more preferable than coaching a national team," he said last week.

6. He's not that old

Fabio Capello is also 64, while Alex Ferguson is 69, and Giovanni Trapattoni is still going strong at 72.

Irish Independent

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