Guus Hiddink, a longtime manager at both club and international level, confirmed he is to replace Louis van Gaal as head coach of the Netherlands following the 2014 World Cup.
Eurosport passed along word of the expected switch once the cycle is complete:
BREAKING: Guus Hiddink says he will replace Louis van Gaal as Netherlands manager following the World Cup finals.— Eurosport.com EN (@EurosportCom_EN) March 1, 2014
It will be Hiddink's second stint with the high-profile European national team. He previously led the side from 1994 through 1998. His run came to an end after leading the Netherlands to the semifinals of the 1998 World Cup. After his departure, the team failed to qualify in 2002.
Sky Sports provided comments from the 67-year-old Dutch manager, who said he's already working with the football association to create a coaching staff to ensure a smooth transition:
I am working with the KNVB (Dutch FA) to create a coaching team around me.
We will need a few days or maybe a couple of weeks.
It will be a great team. I will not be a free-wheeling coach. When I do something, I want to do it as well as I can—otherwise I would not do it.
At international level, he's coached South Korea, Australia, Russia and Turkey to go along with his first stay with the Netherlands. He's also led several notable clubs since becoming a coach three decades ago, including Real Madrid and PSV Eindhoven among others.
What do you think of the Netherlands bringing back Hiddink?
The Sky Sports report notes van Gaal is seeking a chance to coach in the Premier League following the World Cup. That explains why plans are already being put in place for the national team to move forward without him.
Looking ahead, it appears Hiddink will take control of a team in transition. It features a lot of star power right now with the likes of Robin van Persie, Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder. They are all at least 29, however, so the new boss will need to start grooming some younger replacements.
The Netherlands does have a budding future core of players led by Kevin Strootman, Jetro Willems and others. They highlight a group that should take on a bigger role heading toward 2018. Hiddink's task will be finding the right balance between those players and the remaining veterans.
His past success with the Netherlands suggests he'll be up to the task.