Monday, November 8, 2010

8 November 1946 - He Could Teach Carmen Sandiego A Thing Or Two

On 8 November 1946, Guus Hiddink was born in the Dutch town of Varsseveld. He would go on to become one of the world's most celebrated--if peripatetic--football managers.

He began and ended his 15-year playing career as a midfielder for Dutch side De Graafschap (1967-70, 1972-76, 1981-82), but also spent time with PSV Eindhoven (1970-72), the Washington Diplomats (1976), the San Jose Earthquakes (1977), and NEC (1978-81). Upon his retirement in 1982 from playing, he returned once more to De Graafschap, but as their manager. But he made his managerial name at PSV Eindhoven.

He moved to PSV in 1984 as an assistant coach, then took over the top job in 1987. In that first season as manager, he led PSV to the treble success of the Eredivisie, the KNVB Cup, and the European Cup. He followed with two more league titles and KNVB Cups in his next two seasons. Then, after short stints at Fenerbah├že (1990-91) and Valencia (1991-94), he took over the Dutch national team in 1995.

Despite success with the Dutch (finishing in 4th place at the 1998 World Cup), he did not stay long, starting a journey that would include spells with Real Madrid (1998-99), Real Betis (2000), South Korea (2000-02), a return to PSV (2002-06), Australia (2005-06), Russia (2006-10), and Chelsea (2009). He led both South Korea and Australia to their greatest World Cup successes (the semifinals in 2002 and the 2006 Round of 16, respectively). And on two occasions, he simultaneously managed a club and a country (PSV and Australia in 2005-06; Chelsea and Russia in 2009).

In 2010, he moved to his current post in charge of Turkey's national team.

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