Guus Hiddink hails the Premier League for toughening up Everton's Diniyar Bilyaletdinov

By Arindam Rej for MailOnline

Everton's £9million summer signing Diniyar Bilyaletdinov is becoming a 'real man' because of the battles he's facing in the Barclays Premier League, according to Russia manager Guus Hiddink.

Bilyaletdinov scored both goals for Russia in their World Cup play-off first-leg win over Slovenia in Moscow on Saturday.

Former Chelsea manager Hiddink was the man who recommended the left-sided player to Everton manager David Moyes.

Diniyar Bilyaletdinov

Double trouble: Bilyaletdinov dumped Slovenia with his two goals at the weekend

And Moyes has been rewarded as his new No 7 has scored twice in the Premier League, at home to Wolves and Aston Villa.

Former Lokomotiv Moscow playmaker Bilyaletdinov is out of Everton's forthcoming game against Manchester United - after his red card against Villa - but he is raring to go for Russia.

The second leg in Slovenia is on Wednesday night.

guus hiddink

Full of praise: Russia boss Hiddink

Dutchman Hiddink said: 'The matches of the English Premier League hardened him in battles. Bill (Bilyaletdinov) is a really stylish player. And, to tell the truth, after a recent game against Azerbaijan, I had no doubts that he would appear in the starting XI.

'His work at training only proved my decision was right. People are growing up. And Bilyaletdinov is becoming a real man. To my mind people in Russia underestimated him until now.

'Usually left-footed players have problems with their right leg. But Diniyar scored both goals with his right one. I would not call him a two-footed footballer but he proved that he could do wonderful things with the right leg as well.' 

Tottenham striker Roman Pavlyuchenko went a bit further than his national team boss and compared Bilyaletdinov to Brazil legend Pele.

Looking back on the Slovenia game, Pavlyuchenko said: 'For the first goal I turned  around and I was amazed to find Bill in front of me.

'I do not understand it even now how he managed to get there. But that moment I  passed to him Diniyar did everything the way that probably only Pele could do.  It was well done!' 



No comments have so far been submitted. Why not be the first to send us your thoughts, or debate this issue live on our message boards.

We are no longer accepting comments on this article.

Who is this week's top commenter? Find out now