Turkish press happy with Hiddink

ISTANBUL – The new ‘national chief’ Guus Hiddink makes it to the front pages of several Turkish newspapers. Mostly short articles, but on the sports pages there is a lot of attention for the man who, according to the headline in Vatan, ‘said ‘Yes’ for 8 million lira per year’.

For one of Turkey’s biggest newspapers, Hürriyet, Hiddink’s coming to Turkey is no front page news: they already revealed it prominently yesterday morning, before the official announcement from the Turkish Football Federation. A sports commentator from the paper writes, with the headline ‘Poor Hiddink,’ that it will be difficult to make a success of the Turkish team, because according to him Turkey has a deficit of good attacking midfielders.

For the rest, there’s a lot of faith in the new national coach. In sports paper Fotomac there are three comments on Hiddink. One of them is a plea for also getting Hiddink involved in the training of talented Turkish youth players. Another says Hiddink is successful because he brings stability and attack football, and that’s good news for the Turks: ‘The Turkish national team has more potential than the teams Hiddink worked with before.’
On the front page of sports paper Fanatik Dutchman Frank Rijkaard gets a lot more space than Guus Hiddink. That’s logical, as Rijkaards Galatasaray plays against Atletico Madrid tonight, and Hiddink only starts on August 1. The website Fanatik conducted a poll asking the question ‘Can the Turkish team become a success with Hiddink?’. A total of 55,000 Turks voted, and 72% of them are full of confidence.

Daily newspaper Sabah, like several other papers, writes about Oğuz Çetin, for years now the second trainer of the national team: for a long time it was normal that the second man would become the first after the head trainer left, but not this time. There is also some pity for Yilmaz Vural, the popular trainer of middle league team Kasimpasaspor, who always puts himself in the picture when there is an opening at national level: again he was not chosen. Hürriyet makes a caricature about it: two Guus Hiddinks set foot on Turkish soil, but one of them is Vural, who had had plastic surgery to become a Hiddink look-alike. ‘It will soon become clear who is the real Hiddink’.

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