Hiddink takes charge of China Under-21s

Guus Hiddink has returned to Asian football after a 16-year absence to coach China's Under-21 side.

Guus Hiddink's last job in football was as interim manager of Chelsea during 2015-16, when he helped the club finish 10th in the Premier League after a poor start to the season under Jose Mourinho.   -  Getty Images

Former Russia and Netherlands boss Guus Hiddink has been appointed coach of China's Under-21 side after returning to work in Asia for the first time since 2002.

Hiddink, 71, led South Korea to the World Cup semi-finals at their home tournament in 2002 and he has now been tasked with ensuring China's young players qualify for the 2020 AFC Under23 Championship to give them a chance of reaching the 2020 Olympics.

The Dutchman's last job in football was as interim manager of Chelsea during 2015-16, when he helped the club finish 10th in the Premier League after a poor start to the season under Jose Mourinho.

A statement on the China Football Association's official website said: "The team will be prepared for the 2020 AFC U-23 Championship qualification with the aims of sealing a place at the Men's Football Tournament of the 2020 Olympic Games."

Qualification for the 2020 AFC Under-23 Championship begins in March 2019, with the top three finishers going to the Tokyo Olympics.