China appoint Hiddink to lead Olympic 2020 charge

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Highly respected Dutchman Guus Hiddink was named on Monday as the new coach of China's U-21 football team, tasked with leading the country at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

The 71-year-old joins another well-known veteran coach, the Italian World Cup winner Marcello Lippi, in taking a major role in China's aggressive push to become a force in international football.

Announcing Hiddink as the U-21s boss, the Chinese Football Association (CFA) said: "The main task is to go for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Qualification for the 2020 Olympics is through the AFC U23 Championship, with the preliminary stage scheduled for 2019 with Thailand having been recommended as the host for the Finals in 2020.

"In the days to come, under the leadership of Hiddink and his coaching team, the U-21 boys will pursue their Olympic dreams." 

The Dutchman, whose last job was a caretaker spell at Chelsea in 2015-2016, comes with a wealth of experience at club and international level.

In addition to his two interim stints at Chelsea, he also coached Real Madrid, PSV Eindhoven and Valencia, among others.

Hiddink is perhaps best known for inspiring co-hosts Korea Republic to a semi-final spot at the 2002 World Cup.

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