I was Leicester’s first choice as coach before Ranieri: Hiddink

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London, May 4 (IANS) Chelsea’s interim head coach Guus Hiddink has revealed that he was Leicester City’s first choice to take the job before the newly-crowned English football champions appointed Claudio Ranieri.

The experienced Dutch coach rejected the Foxes, because he wanted to take a break from football after leaving his role as the Netherlands head coach in late June.

“It is true that Leicester asked me (to be their coach) for this season. But I had decided this was a time for rest, and I wanted to do just nothing,” Hiddink was quoted as saying by Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf on Tuesday.

The 69-year-old eventually took up a temporary position at Chelsea for the second time following the sacking of Jose Mourinho in December.

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However, despite rejoining the club while at their lowest point, Hiddink claimed he has no reservations about taking up the role.

“The club was in a negative flow and there was panic,” he said.

“It was my task to restore a calm atmosphere and that happened. If we kept losing, even to a club as Chelsea could have gotten in big problems. Just like nobody expected that Leicester became champions, that could have happened,” the 69-year-old said.

–IANS

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