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Friday Kickoff: Hiddink returns as Netherlands manager, PSG mull Oscar bid; and more



The Netherlands have found a new coach for their national team – and it’s a familiar name.

Guus Hiddink, who took the Dutch to the 1998 World Cup semifinal, will return to lead the team on a two-year contract. He will start after the World Cup this summer when Louis van Gaal steps down.

Hiddink, 67, will steer the team through the 2016 Eurocup and then pass the job onto assistant coach Danny Blind, who will be trained as successor.

“I think it is a beautiful thing that I can prepare my own successor for the job, guaranteeing the vision of the Dutch national team for the long term,” Hiddink said in a statement. “The team and the KNVB can profit hugely.”

Hiddink has a wide-ranging career at the helms of international teams, leading teams such as South Korea, Australia, Russia and Turkey, picking up better-than-expected results along the way.

Here are some other stories to kick off your Friday:


As Paris Saint-Germain prepare to face Chelsea in the UEFA Champion’s League quarterfinals, they are also trying to poach away one of their players.

PSG are looking into making a £41.5 million bid for Chelsea midfielder Oscar before this summer’s World Cup, according to a report by The Telegraph. Chelsea has been steadfast in declaring offers for Oscar would not be considered.

But fellow Brazilian Lucas Moura told the Telegraph Oscar is his friend and “we need someone like him at PSG.” It’s curious timing for news of the offer to come out though — PSG will head to Chelsea for the first leg of their quarterfinal Wednesday.

Jose Mourinho was unmoved by the news Friday, telling reporters he would consider transferring Oscar and Eden Hazard — but only for £300 million for the pair.


And just like that, Lanus has jumped from last place to top of their group in Copa Libertadores, topping Cerro Porteño, 2-0. It was two strikes late in the second half after a stalemate with Lanus on the attack but the Paraguayans holding ground.

The breakthrough came in the 72nd when Carlos Araujo hit a low, driving ball from the top of the box that took a deflection and tucked into the corner of goal. Oscar Benítez headed the insurance goal in stoppage time.

Lanus share a three-way tie for first place with Deportivo Cali and Cerro Porteño.

Elsewhere in Copa Libertadores action on Thursday evening, Ecuadorian side Independiente Della Valle tied Argentine club San Lorenzo, 1-1, and Bolivia’s The Strongest scored twice in the second half, including a game-tying goal in stoppage time, to draw with Peru’s Universitario, 3-3.


Barcelona President Josep Maria Bartomeu has revealed that they will take care of injured goalkeeper Victor Valdes during his rehab and there is a new contract on the table if he decides to remain at the club. (REPORT)

Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti has confirmed that despite two straight losses, Diego Lopez is still the team’s No. 1 goalkeeper, ahead of captain Iker Casillas. (REPORT)

Friday marks the 21st anniversary of Francesco Totti’s AS Roma debut against Brescia. (REPORT)


What do you think of this news? Glad to see Hiddink back leading the Oranje? Think PSG should make their offer for Oscar? Impressed with The Strongest’s comeback?

Share your thoughts below.


    • Does he even really have a chance at this point to become a US citizen, seems like playing in Europe it will be impossible.

      • A chance? For sure. It’ll be a pain though and very tricky. But as reported yesterday, that is who the USSF coaching staff is working on now. And then today we find out he rejected the German call up which everyone figured he would take.

    • One thing JK deserves alot credit for is recruiting these Dual Nationals. Gedion probably feels more American than German. So thats a plus


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