Russia go Double Dutch with Advocaat appointment

MOSCOW - Dutchman Dick Advocaat will be appointed Russia's new national team coach, replacing compatriot Guus Hiddink, the country's football chief said on Monday.

"Advocaat will arrive in Moscow on Tuesday and will be presented to our executive board," Russian FA (RFU) president Sergei Fursenko told reporters following the body's board meeting in the southern city of Rostov.

"His task would be to lead our team to the finals of both Euro 2012 and the 2014 World Cup," Fursenko added. "He's a real workaholic. He knows all our (top) players which is a big plus."

Last month, the 62-year-old Advocaat resigned as Belgium coach after just six months in the job and Russian media reports suggest he will sign a long-term contract for a country where he enjoyed success at club level with Zenit St Petersburg.

When he stepped down from the Belgium job, Advocaat was quoted in the Dutch media as saying: "Russian soccer is of a higher level than Belgian soccer. It matches the level I am used to working at."

Fursenko was elected RFU chief in February and has known Advocaat since their days together in St Petersburg when as Zenit president, he hired the Dutchman to coach the side in 2006.

In his first full season the following year, Advocaat steered the club to their first national title in nearly a quarter of a century, becoming the first foreign coach to achieve the feat. In 2008, he led the side to victory in the UEFA Cup.

Hiddink guided Russia to the Euro 2008 semi-finals but opted not to renew his contract after the side failed to qualify for this year's World Cup finals following a two-legged playoff loss to Slovenia.

Advocaat has had previous spells as a national coach with his native Netherlands, the UAE and South Korea as well as successful stints at club level with PSV Eindhoven and Glasgow Rangers.

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