We started talking seriously around the World Cup, before the game against Togo. At the time, we had the first meetings because officially Advocaat told the KFA on 15th June that he was leaving. I think that was three or four days after the Togo game. Before that he had a meeting with the KFA and told them that he would definitely leave the Korean national team.
That is when they came to me and said “he is leaving and we would like to go on with you.”
What was your reaction?
To be honest, my plan was to go to Europe. I had been away from my family for so long and I had more or less decided to go back to Europe and spend at least five or six months there and see what is happening.
Then this came and my family knows very well how much I like it in Korea and what I think about Korean football so they could understand that this was an offer I could not refuse. This is perhaps the only foreign job I would take because I know the country so well. I really think we can have great success.
It’s an obvious question but what are the main differences between being the assistant and head coach of South Korea?
Working with Hiddink and Advocaat is not so difficult because they give you all the freedom to organize the training sessions, to prepare team meetings and analysis and things like that. In the end, they take the final decision. You can have so many ideas yourself but in the end you always have to go to somebody who makes the final decision.
The good part is that with Hiddink and Advocaat, I never had …