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Hiddink lifts lid on Chelsea owner Abramovich

With the assistance of Abramovich, the Russian FA was able to appoint Hiddink for their Euro2008 qualifying campaign and the two men have grown close.

"Since people continually associate me with Chelsea's owner Roman Abramovich, I thought it would be a good idea to explain a little bit about our relationship," Hiddink told The Times. "I have met him five times: four times in London and once at the PSV training complex. As for all those stories about me being a candidate for the Chelsea job, we never discussed it.

"I know that you can never say never in football, but that option would not have made sense. We have a project to reshape Russian football by 2014, with the 2010 World Cup as the first phase. Given Abramovich's long-term commitment and vision, it seems very unlikely that he would try to disrupt that process."

Hiddink appears to regard Abramovich as an ideal employer and was surprised to receive a sympathetic text message from him after Russia's 3-0 defeat by England last month.

"What struck me about Abramovich was his supportive approach," Hiddink said. "He is not the type of man to demand things of you, but he is interested to learn how you would do things. The more you can explain to him, the more appreciative he is. And despite his vast wealth, he doesn't try to abuse his position or status.

"He is a very relaxed character but is highly committed to sport in general and football in particular. He is not especially interested in the technicalities of how things are implemented. He is chiefly concerned with how to transform resources into results. With Chelsea he is looking to achieve that in a shorter time frame, with Russia his approach is longer term."

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Tribal Football Staff

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