Hiddink’s assistant steps down

Guus Hiddink and Igor Korneev (R) at Euro 2008
The Hiddink era in Russian football is drawing to a complete close as his assistant Igor Korneev has also quit the national team.

Korneev was beside the iconic Dutch coach when he steered Russia to the Euro 2008 semi-finals.

However, with Hiddink gone, he has decided to follow suit, saying there is no actual work for him. the 42-year-old will instead focus on his role as Zenit Saint Petersburg sporting director.

“After the qualifying draw for Euro 2012 and after Guus Hiddink took charge of the Turkish national team, it became clear that there will be little for me to do as the assistant coach of Russia before the end of my contract with the RFU [Russian Football Union]. As a result, I decided to concentrate on my duties in Zenit, where I occupy the position of sporting director, and asked the RFU for the promotion to let me go and got one,” Korneev told Sport Express newspaper.

Former CSKA Moscow, Barcelona and Feyenoord footballer, Korneev was Feyenoord’s youth coach before becoming assistant coach for the Russian team in 2006.

Hiddink was introduced as the Turkey coach in the middle of the month. He takes charge of the team after summer’s World Cup in South Africa.

Russia has yet to replace Hiddink at the helm, although fellow Dutchman Dick Advocaat has been heavily linked with the post.