Russia will have a new coach for UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying after the man that led them to the 2008 semi-finals, Guus Hiddink, decided to step down when his contract expires on 30 June.
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Guus Hiddink will step down as Russia coach after his contract expires on 30 June.
Hiddink took charge in July 2006, guiding Russia to the UEFA EURO 2008 semi-finals – their best result for 20 years – but was knocked out of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in the play-offs by Slovenia. After discussions with new Russian Football Union (RFS) president Sergei Fursenko, the 63-year-old Hiddink decided not to continue into UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying.
A statement on the RFS website said: "The RFS board expresses sincere gratitude to Hiddink for the huge and high-quality job he did as Russia coach. It is also necessary to underline the major professional contribution of this able coach to the development of Russian football in general."
Hiddink, a former coach of De Graafschap, PSV Eindhoven, Fenerbahçe SK, Valencia CF, Real Madrid CF, Real Betis Balompié, Netherlands, South Korea, Australia and Chelsea FC, wrote in his column in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf: "We had a pleasant talk with the new RFS president and I eventually decided to leave when my contract expires on 30 June. It is now time to cut the Gordian knot that had tied me for quite a long time to make room for my successor." Russia meet Slovakia, the Republic of Ireland, FYR Macedonia, Armenia and Andorra in UEFA EURO 2012 qualifying.