November 19, 2009

Russia was considered the sky-high favorite ahead of its two-legged 2010 World Cup qualification playoff against Slovenia, but it was surprisingly eliminated by the Slovenians on Wednesday.

Dutch boss Guus Hiddink's contract is due to expire in the summer of 2010 and Russia's failure to qualify for South Africa could very well mean that Hiddink's time as coach has come to an end.

"I have an existing contract until the end of the World Cup finals in July 2010," Hiddink told Russian reporters. "The question of whether I will continue to UEFA Euro 2012 will require some time for thought. Before the matches with Germany and Slovenia, the Russian Football Association expressed their desire to continue working together. But we'll talk about the future at a later stage."

Hiddink took over as coach in 2006 and guided Russia through a difficult qualifying group involving England and Croatia to an historic semifinal place at the 2008 European Championship.

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