LONDON — Guus Hiddink returned to Chelsea for a second spell as manager on Saturday, hired until the end of the season with the tough task of turning round the struggling Premier League champions following Jose Mourinho's firing.
The 69-year-old Dutchman won the FA Cup when he previously filled the Chelsea managerial void in 2009 for around four months after the exit of Luiz Felipe Scolari.
Hiddink's latest firefighting role comes with Chelsea only one point above the Premier League relegation zone following an alarming slump just seven months after sweeping to the title.
"I am excited to return to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea is one of the biggest clubs in the world but is not where it should be at the moment," Hiddink said. "However, I am sure we can all turn this season around."
Chelsea said Saturday that it views Hiddink as a coach with a "wealth of top-level experience and success." The club highlighted how fans were "singing his name following our final home game" of the 2008-09 season.
However, Hiddink's fortunes have faded since he was last at Chelsea. He quit as manager of Turkey after failing to qualify the team for the 2012 European Championship and did not win a trophy with Anzhi Makhachkala during a spell with the Russian club.
More recently, he has been out of work since being fired by the Netherlands in June - during the latter stages of his country's unsuccessful attempt to qualify for the 2016 European Championship. He had five losses, four victories and a draw during his year in charge of a team that finished third at the 2014 World Cup under Louis van Gaal, now the manager of Manchester United.
Hiddink was due to watch from the stands for Saturday's home match against Sunderland, with Steve Holland and Eddie Newton in charge for the game.