Guus Hiddink has congratulated Russia for winning the right to host the 2018 World Cup finals but has also expressed his disappointment that Netherlands-Belgium failed to win the bid.
Hiddink, who led Holland to the semi-finals of the 1998 World Cup, was the coach of the Russian national team between 2006 and 2010. The 64-year-old conveyed his congratulations to his friends in Russia and also praised the Holland-Belgium bid for their willingness to co-host the competition.
"I congratulated my old friends, Vitaly Mutko, Roman [Abramovic], Valery Gergiev and of course [Andriy] Arshavin and I am happy for them," Hiddink told the press at the ceremony in Zurich. "I will go out there soon."
The Dutchman added with a smile, "I will be too old to coach the Russia team in 2018."
However, Hiddink also spared some thoughts for his native country's joint bid with Belgium.
"I am disappointed that Russia won," he told NOS. "We put forward an excellent presentation but clearly it did not prove to be decisive. But if someone else had to win then Russia.
"Our 2018 World Cup bid was not successful but in sport there can only be one winner. Congratulations to Russia. If you never make an attempt at it, you will never win. This is the narrative for the whole of Belgium and the Netherlands: just keep going and take risks.
"This will mean a big boost for football in Russia, when you think of all the great stadiums that will be built," the current Turkey boss explained.
"It will also be really good for the Russian economy. It could be very good that many international companies can now invest there."