Respected Dutchman Guus Hiddink was named on Monday as the new coach of China's Under-21 football team, which was tasked with leading the country in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. The 71-year-old joins another well-known coach veteran, the winner of the World Cup in Italy, Marcello Lippi, to take on an important role in China's aggressive drive to finally become a force in international football. Lippi, 70, has been in charge of the senior team since 2016 and has overseen a marginal improvement, although China has yet to make it to the FIFA World Cup in Russia and languishes in 75th place in the FIFA rankings.
In announcing Hiddink as the head of the under-21s, the Chinese Football Association (CFA) said: "The main task is to go to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
"In the coming days, under the leadership of Hiddink and his team of coaches, children under the age of 21 will pursue their Olympic dreams."
The Dutchman, whose last job was a sorcerer at Chelsea in 2015-2016, will receive a little less than four million euros (USD 4.7 million) a year after taxes, according to Chinese media.
Like Lippi, Hiddink comes with a great experience at club and international level.
In addition to his two seasons in Chelsea, he also coached Real Madrid, PSV Eindhoven and Valencia, among others.
Hiddink is perhaps best known for inspiring co-hosts of South Korea to a semi-final clash at the 2002 World Cup.
China's under-21s are expected to make up the bulk of their squad for the Olympics, where the age group is under 23 years old.