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Nov 16, 2011

Hiddink parts company with Turkey

The Turkish Football Federation (TFF) has confirmed that Guus Hiddink has left his position as coach of the national team by mutual consent.

• Euro 2012 play-off review

Hiddink, 65, was expected to end his spell in charge of Turkey after failing to guide the country to next summer's European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

The Dutchman watched on as his side held Croatia to a 0-0 draw in Zagreb in their Euro 2012 play-off on Tuesday, but the damage was already done after Turkey crashed to an embarrassing 3-0 home defeat in the first leg.

It was Hiddink's second successive qualification failure after missing out on the 2010 World Cup with Russia; he had previously boasted a 100% record having guided Netherlands to Euro '96 and World Cup '98, Australia to the 2006 World Cup and Russia to Euro 2008.

In his post-match interview on Tuesday he said that he expected to end his association with Turkey, saying: "I worked for future of Turkey but I think this is my last match with this team - there is a high probability of that."

Turkish football's governing body has now confirmed that it is searching for a new boss, with a statement on the TFF's official website thanking Hiddink for his services and wishing him "a healthy and happy life".

Speaking after Tuesday's match, Hiddink hit out at the structures in place in Turkish football, insisting that the present system was affecting the national team's chances of success.

"All national teams representing a country, starting with the under-14 side up to the senior level, depend on how the clubs are organised and how seriously they take the education of young players from the age of 10,'' Hiddink said in quotes reported by Turkish newspaper Today's Zaman.

"In countries like Germany and Holland, this system is highly developed and the results are obvious. On the other hand, only one or two players from Turkey's Under-19 and Under-21 sides have come through to senior level and while in those countries it's a reliable process, in Turkey it's an exception.

"Turkey has a lot of potential but will only take part in big tournaments more frequently if the system is organised in a better way, because the foundation must lie in the clubs and be 100% efficient.''

Hiddink, who boasts one of football's most impressive managerial CVs, is now certain to be in high demand and the likes of PSG and Anzhi Makhachkala have been linked with his services.

But the former Real Madrid manager has indicated that he plans to "take some time off" before taking up a new challenge and also claimed that the chance to move out of the managerial spotlight is an attractive prospect for him.

"I'm not ready to retire," Hiddink said. "I like to be involved with a team on a daily basis, but maybe I am ready to step out of the limelight a little bit, away from the cameras. Hopefully I will still be involved but perhaps it will be as an adviser or a consultant."

And the man who guided Chelsea to the 2009 FA Cup while in caretaker charge stated that he could be interested in a return to England.

"I've not made up my mind about the future yet," he said. "I'm going to take some time off and then we will see what happens, but I had a wonderful time in England. It was great at Chelsea, a terrific time, but that doesn't mean I am ready to start tomorrow. I need some time to reflect."

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