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Shakira's advice for Pique

The Toe Poke
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By ESPN Staff

North Korea make "unofficial" Philippe Troussier contact

North Korea have 'unofficially' contacted experienced former Japan coach Philippe Troussier about coaching the team at next year's World Cup finals.

Kim Jong-hun guided North Korea to their first World Cup finals appearance since 1966, but officials seem to want experience with current Russia coach Guus Hiddink and Sven Goran Eriksson linked with the role.

According to the Nikka Sports newspaper, Troussier has been a target since October after North Korea visited France to play second division side Nantes.

"It is an unofficial thing. I have received some contacts but nothing has been completed,'' Troussier told the newspaper. "However, I am open to challenge with an Asian country and I have experience in Asia.

"I can bring that experience to the team. It would be a wonderful adventure for me if I can coach a team in the 2010 World Cup.''

North Korea have been drawn in Group G alongside Brazil, Ivory Coast and Portugal. The report added Troussier, who has been general manager for Japanese regional club FC Ryukyu in Okinawa since January 2008, has yet to be granted a visa to travel to Pyongyang for talks with North Korean football officials.

Troussier, 54, guided Japan to the last 16 at the 2002 World Cup after overseeing South Africa's group stage exit four years earlier. The former Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso coach also guided Nigeria to the 1998 World Cup finals.

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