MOSCOW - Russia coach Guus Hiddink could still play an important role at Chelsea after his short-term contract with the London club expires at the end of May, the Dutchman said on Saturday. "I will finish my managerial duties with Chelsea at the end of the season but, yes, I may assist the club in a different way, of course if they asked me," Hiddink told Reuters in an interview after Russia beat Azerbaijan 2-0 in a World Cup qualifier to remain in contention of reaching next year's finals. Hiddink, who became Chelsea's interim manager last month, said he has a special relationship with the club's Russian billionaire owner Roman Abramovich. "I've said it many times before that I wouldn't have done it (combining the two jobs) at any other club but Chelsea are special," he said. "I don't do it for the money. I do it because I have a special relationship, a close bond with Roman. So if I stay with the club after May it would be more of an advisory, consulting role." Hiddink revealed it was Abramovich, who called him last November to assure the Dutchman he would be fully compensated for his work as national coach when the Russian FA owed him several months salary. "Yes, it was a difficult time but he (Abramovich) called to say everything would be taken care of," Hiddink recalled. TWO JOBS "I had no doubts that the Russians would pay me eventually and I never thought of quitting (the Russia job), but still it was very nice of him to call and say that he would pay the money himself." Asked if he just could not say no to Abramovich when he was approached by Chelsea, Hiddink said: "I could have said 'no' if I knew I wouldn't be able to handle both jobs without sacrificing either one." Since replacing Brazilian Luiz Felipe Scolari at Chelsea, Hiddink has revived their Premier League hopes, guided them to the Champions League quarter-finals and the English FA Cup semi-finals. "Next season I just couldn't do the two jobs as Russia have some very important World Cup qualifiers in the fall," he said. The Russian FA (RFU) indicated it would consider giving Hiddink permission to stay at Chelsea. "If Chelsea say they would like to continue, we are ready to discuss it with them," RFU general secretary Alexey Sorokin was quoted as saying by the Russian media. CHELSEA FANS! Check FourFourTwo.com’s ever-expanding interviews archive for more stuff to read: Web Exclusives Kerry Dixon, Guus Hiddink One on One Gianfranco Zola, Nicolas Anelka Boy's A Bit Special Michael Mancienne, Scott Sinclair Perfect XI Ruud Gullit, Marcel Desailly Celebrity fans Vidal Sassoon And Another Thing Being a Big Four fan Plus! Ruud Gullit on Weekend Wonders and Chelsea on Talentspotter
28 March 2009
Get FourFourTwo interviews, features and fun in your inbox every week. For free!
Thank you for registering for our Newsletter
We will send regular updates on the ongoing FourFourTwo updates to the email address you have supplied.