Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Nigeria: Now It's an Official Job Search

Remember the opening for a coach in Nigeria?

It has become an official global job search ... because the name Guus Hiddink has been mentioned as a serious candidate.

It isn't a real search until Guus is mentioned. The man who replaced Bora Milutinovic as the No. 1 hired-gun of a coach.

The issue with Guus is that he still is under contract with Russia. He earlier said he would serve that out.

But that was before the Nigeria job came open.

Guus has a remarkable World Cup coaching record. In 1998, the Dutchman got his countrymen -- famous for the fractiousness -- into the semifinals in France, where they lost in a shootout to Brazil (a match I covered, if anyone cares). He took Australia to the second round in 2006.

But his most famous accomplishment was getting South Korea to the semifinals of the 2002 World Cup. He's been gold ever since.

Not even the failure to get Russia into the World Cup seems to have hurt his marketability. Most observers seem to blame Russia's players, not Guus. It also helped that he took Russia to the semifinals of the Euro 2008 competition.

So, this is a real coach. But he will demand real money. Is Nigeria ready to spend it? Does Nigeria care enough?

Guess we will find out.
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